Heritage & Listed Buildings

Heritage & Listed Buildings

We have key skills in the appraisal and viability of listed building and heritage developments. This includes options testing, funding and enabling development. We have recently assisted Heritage England to draft the revised Good Practice Advice note on Enabling Development and the Conservation of Significant Places.

Options Appraisals / Testing

We carry out detailed feasibility studies and options appraisals for listed buildings and other heritage assets.  This includes identifying the relevant criteria for a successful scheme and soft market testing.  We are often required to test various options in terms of harm, viability and the quantum of enabling development. 

Optimum Viable Use

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires that when considering the impact of a proposed development on the significance of a designated heritage asset, great weight should be given to the asset’s conservation.

Where a proposed development will lead to substantial harm to (or total loss of significance of) a designated heritage asset, local planning authorities should refuse consent (except in certain circumstances).

Where a development proposal will lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of a designated heritage asset, this harm should be weighed against the public benefits of the proposal including, where appropriate, securing its optimum viable use.

AspinallVerdi works with owners of heritage assets and the Local Planning Authority to assess and appraise a long- and short- list of uses to recommend the optimum viable use.  This can overlap with testing other policy requirements (e.g. affordable housing); establishing the potential for public sector funding; and consideration of enabling development.


We have extensive experience of preparing funding applications for heritage projects.  We are retained as development appraisers and enablers by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in respect of their Heritage Enterprise funding programme. We have also consulted on various townscape heritage schemes nationally for example, Kirkgate Leeds THI, Beverley Road Hull THI and Bridlington Quay THI.  We also act for developers to prepare funding bid

Enabling Development

We have provided advice in respect of enabling development for both developers and Local Planning Authorities.  This includes a diverse range of heritage assets including listed churches, country house hotels, mill buildings and leisure assets.

For further information about our services browse our case studies