PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and The Built Heritage
Annex E: The Guiding Principles for Conserving Historic Buildings
E3 There are three main guiding principles that will ensure that the character of the listed building is safeguarded when changes to its fabric are being proposed:-
- The first principle is that of minimum interference and every scheme should therefore aim to conserve a maximum of the original fabric of the listed building, whether or not it will be seen. An historic building is like a coded book and every inch of it speaks to us about its past, its owners, its builders, fashions, customs, times of plenty and times of scarcity. Each piece of its fabric lost is like tearing a page out of this history book. A certain amount of replacement is inevitable, but the practicalities of repair must always be weighed in the balance before that decision is finally made.
- The second principle is that the listed building in its original form should remain the dominant feature in relation to any additions or extensions proposed to it. There are certain historic buildings where any extension would be damaging and such works will therefore not normally be acceptable.
- The third principle relates to architectural styles when altering or adding to the listed building. Sometimes it will be essential for new work to match the existing architectural style. This would certainly be true where a relatively minor alteration, for example making a window into a door, was to be made to a building of one definite architectural style. However when more extensive changes are beingconsidered, for example the addition of a substantial wing, then itmay be acceptable for the new work to make its own architectural statement which could contrast, but must never compete, with the original building. Where an extension wishes to copy the original building it is critical that it does so accurately. A poor copy will always be unsatisfactory and can never exist in harmony with the original building. Whichever stylistic path is chosen, if the new work will finally form part of the architectural perception of the listed building then the most important factor in the design is that the quality of the new work is a match for the old.