The Building Conservation Directory 2024

11 CATHEDRAL COMMUNICATIONS THE BUILDING CONSERVATION DIRECTORY 2024 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 1 LISTED BUILDINGS PROTECTION JONATHAN TAYLOR LISTS OF buildings of ‘special architectural or historic interest’ are maintained by each of the four home nations. These ‘listed’ buildings are graded according to a variety of factors such as rarity and completeness, with grades I and category A being the most important, but all listed buildings are equally protected by the need for consent, whatever the grade/category, inside and out. It is a criminal offence to materially alter, extend or demolish one without listed building consent (LBC). Applications for listed building consent are made to the local planning authority who will then consult the national statutory body on applications for LBC involving demolition. Where alterations are proposed, Historic England and Cadw are only consulted on proposals to alter Grades I and II* listed buildings in England and Wales, and Historic Environment Scotland is only consulted on categories A and B. In Northern Ireland the Historic Environment Division of the Department for Communities is consulted on all applications affecting listed buildings. Buildings of a lower grade or category than those in the table above have no statutory protection, although local planning building of special architectural or historic interest’. The criterion for assessing the proposal is ‘the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses’. APPLYING FOR LISTED BUILDING CONSENT Like a planning application, an application for listed building consent would be required to include appropriately scaled drawings and photos showing the existing building and comparable drawings showing the proposals. In addition, the local planning authority may require statements outlining: • why the building or component affected is significant in heritage terms • how that significance will be affected by the proposal, and • how any harm caused to the significance of the building or component can be justified. This information is usually presented in a heritage statement. For a minor alteration this can be a relatively simple document, but it becomes more complicated where harm needs to be evaluated and justified. Historic Environment Scotland in its Managing Change guidance on extensions points out that “most historic buildings can sustain some degree of sensitive alteration or extension to accommodate continuing or new uses. Yet historic buildings vary in the extent to which they can accommodate change without loss to special interest. Some present the opportunity to promote design intervention that would not have been possible without the historic building as a creative spark. Others are sensitive even to slight alterations.” Harm can often be mitigated by making the alterations reversible. New components such as partitions must be cut around the existing fabric rather than cutting into the original components, and all interventions should always be kept to the minimum. WORKS NOT REQUIRING LISTED BUILDING CONSENT Like-for-like repairs do not require consent provided they do not involve any alteration or demolition. This means using materials to match the existing materials (even if the existing materials were used inappropriately), and the repairs must be limited to the area that needs repairing. All works should be carefully documented with before and after photos and notes detailing what was done. However, most repairs will involve a degree of alteration, so to avoid any misunderstandings the local authority should be notified LISTED BUILDING GRADES / CATEGORIES (and proportions in each) STATUTORY AUTHORITY England Grade I (2.5%) Grade II* (5.5%) Grade II (92%) Historic England Wales Grade I (2%) Grade II* (6%) Grade II (92%) Cadw Scotland Category A (8%) Category B (50%) Category C (42%) Historic Environment Scotland Northern Ireland Grade A (2.5%) Grade B+ (6.5%) Grade B1/B2 (91%) Department for Communities, Historic Environment Division PRIMARY LEGISLATION GOVERNMENT POLICY AND GUIDANCE England Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 The National Planning Policy Framework Wales Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2023* Planning Policy Wales, Technical Advice Note 24: The Historic Environment and associated best practice guidance, Managing Change to Listed Buildings in Wales Scotland Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 Historic Environment Policy for Scotland and the guidance notes in the Managing Change in the Historic Environment series Northern Ireland The Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 The Planning (General Development Procedure) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015 The Planning (Listed Buildings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 Planning Policy Statement 6 (PPS6): Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage Criteria for the Scheduling of Historic Monuments and the Listing of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, with associated procedures Strategic Planning Policy Statement (SPPS) 2015 *The Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2023 is expected to come into force before the end of 2024 following the development of secondary legislation and the updating of guidance. In the meantime Wales shares with England the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. policy may seek to protect them through the control of development. These are called ‘locally listed’ buildings in England and ‘record only’ in Northern Ireland. Each of the UK’s four nations operates slightly different planning and heritage protection systems, but the fundamentals are the same, applying protection for historic buildings through primary legislation supplemented by government policy and guidance, as shown in the table below. These policies and guidance fall into the category of ‘material consideration’ which the local planning authority is required to take into account when considering proposals for listed building consent. Local government heritage protection policies which have been through public consultation will also be considered. These provide specific guidance tailored to suit, for example, the character and significance of a local area. The primary legislation enables buildings to be listed, makes it a criminal offence to alter one without LBC, and gives the criteria for granting LBC. So, all three acts state that LBC is required for ‘works for the demolition of a listed building or for its alteration or extension in any manner which would affect its character as a