Heritage Consultancy, Tourism and Leisure

Statement of Heritage Significance

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Wensum Lodge (Music House) – Norwich, Norfolk.

The purpose of a Statement of Heritage Significance is to identify important significance or characteristics of the existing heritage asset, explain how the proposals would affect these aspects and justify why this is desirable or necessary. It therefore demonstrates that consideration has been given to the protection of the heritage asset or its setting and thus justifying the proposal.

Our Heritage Consultancy was commissioned by Norfolk County Council to provide a statement of Heritage Significance for the group of buildings known as Wensum Lodge or Music House, King Street, Norwich.   The National Planning Policy Framework 2019 sets out that:-

  • ‘in determining applications, local planning authorities should require an applicant to describe the significance of any heritage assets affected’
  • ‘As a minimum the relevant historic environment record should have been consulted and the heritage assets assessed using appropriate expertise where necessary. Where a site on which development is proposed includes, or has the potential to include, heritage assets with archaeological interest, local planning authorities should require developers to submit an appropriate desk-based assessment, and where necessary, a field evaluation.’

As a result, this report helped to gain a better understanding of the significance of the buildings and to inform future proposals for a regional centre of excellence for the crafts and a dynamic hub of creative and community activity. The report explored the history and development of the site, providing a detailed description and analysis. It summarised the sites historical, aesthetic, communal and evidential value, which resulted in the overall significance of the group of buildings being classified as high. It then explored the way to maximise enhancement and avoid or minimise harm.

This report concluded that the group of buildings that form Wensum Lodge are of high significance; any forthcoming proposal has great potential to improve on the current situation of acute lack of interpretation and public access as well as the buildings’ poor presentation.

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