Building Maintenance and Improvement – Introduction

This section comprises a series of specifications with advice for the treatment of key elements of the buildings in the two conservation areas, such as brickwork, shopfronts, door and window joinery, signs and paintwork, set out A-Z.  Each section here is a summary dealing with key features. There are links to more detailed information where available.

The treatment of small details can have a serious effect on the overall appearance of the building elevations and streets which make up the Study Area. Care is needed to achieve historically accurate results which contribute positively to the appearance and vitality of each street.

The Study Area has many interesting historic buildings, from the small-scale houses dating from the late 17th century of the Camden side to the massive ex-brewery buildings on the Westminster side, in the ownership of the Mercers’ Company since 1540. Well-maintained and with appropriate historic colours, they help illuminate the conservation areas’ unique ambience.

Each aspect of maintenance and improvement has a symbol. These are used in the detailed proposals for individual buildings in the Building by Building section where they act as links back to the relevant sections here.

Links to Additional Reference Materials

Where available, throughout this section, there are links to further information, for example, the very useful short guides from Historic England (formerly English Heritage) which are not readily available elsewhere.

Before embarking on material changes, you should always check current planning legislation and building regulations. Links to key general guidance documents are:

For properties in Camden: Planning & Design

Camden’s general design guidance, (section on properties within conservation areas from page 18).

The Seven Dials Conservation Area Statement, which the Trust assisted in writing, should be referred to before proposing any alterations to buildings within the Seven Dials Conservation Area. It details all listed buildings and unlisted buildings of merit.

For properties in Westminster: Planning & Design

Westminster’s selection of Topic-based planning guidance documents include an excellent one on Shopfronts and Blinds.

Repairs and Alterations to Listed Buildings Supplementary Planning Guidance

Historic England (formerly English Heritage) guides:

Produced some years ago, we include these as succinct and very useful guides.

Georgian Joinery 1660-1840

Investigative work on historic buildings

London Terrace Houses 1660-1860

Scaffolding and temporary works for historic buildings

Intumescent Products in Historic Buildings

Office floor loadings in historic buildings

Mansard Roofs

In addition, comprehensive and detailed technical materials from Historic England, aimed at professionals, can be sourced here. The most relevant are those on Building Conservation and Energy Efficiency.