Support for Heritage at Risk Work

Jubb Clews has been providing support for heritage at risk work to Local Authorities and enforcing bodies nationally since its inception. The processes set out within the legislation for England are summarised in the national guidance Stopping the Rot published by Historic England. These processes are critical in determining the survey brief and often require a multi-disciplinary survey team to look at the asset. The inspection includes the historic fabric, it’s setting, curtilage structures and fittings.

Inspections are usually undertaken on behalf of Local Planning Authorities and entail pre-inspection review of the casework documents to understand the parties and context as well as the significance of the asset itself.  This is where a combination of expertise in both heritage protection law and construction technology is needed to fully understand the background factors and plan the inspection in order to capture the key data about the risks.

Access for the inspection can be quite restricted due to time or safety constraints. Sites can be very dilapidated and pose serious inspection risks such as unidentified asbestos, live services, weak floors and confined spaces.  Contentious cases occasionally require that the inspection is undertaken within the terms of a warrant. Specialist equipment such as indoor UAVs, full asbestos PPE and methane detection are used along with dynamic risk assessments to manage the inspection risks while the condition data is collected.

Recording the building or site is essential both to have  accurate dimensional data to develop cost and value opinions, but also to help mitigate against partial or total loss should the situation suddenly worsen.  

The result of the survey can be a schedule of urgent works or repairs. The costed condition data at this stage can often be instrumental in unlocking grant aid and budgeting for urgent works. In very complex cases, the Local Planning Authority will be the lead partner in a multi-agency approach with HSE, Highways and other public sector bodies who require further reports for issues which arise from the site inspection.

After the survey, there is support for discussion with the parties to focus their efforts on reducing risk. That support extends to expert witness services should the matter escalate into a formal process and project support if the urgent works need to be put in hand during discussions.

Cases can be drawn out but even where the repair needs appear overwhelming, there is often a satisfactory result, not only in removing the risk to the asset itself but in triggering regeneration in the area.

About Jubb Clews
Jubb Clews is a practice of chartered surveyors accredited by the RICS in historic building conservation.

​We have a deep understanding of historic buildings and how best to look after them.

Our work is evenly spread across our specialisms in surveys, projects and advice. The practice serves a wide cross-section of clients drawn from the private, charitable and public sectors and supports voluntary activities in         education, heritage at risk and youth engagement.

There are two directors, a principal surveyor, a consultant Quantity Surveyor, and a consultant Architect who create bespoke project teams, bringing in expertise in archaeology, geomatics, ecology, planning law and engineering (structural, mechanical, and electrical) to meet our clients’ needs.

We work with a community of heritage contractors conservators and craftspeople to commission works which care for and enhance our client’s extraordinary buildings.

The practice covers the west of the UK from bases in  Lancashire, Cheshire and Worcestershire.


Sign up to receive our journal.

Download Journal