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Heritage Legislation- A Review Mike Pearson Heritage and Leisure Manager South Northamptonshire Council Local Government Health Warning Any views expressed are my own, and may not reflect those of the Council! What is a listed building?

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Heritage Legislation- A Review

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Heritage Legislation-A Review

Mike Pearson

Heritage and Leisure Manager

South Northamptonshire Council


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Local Government Health Warning

Any views expressed are my own, and may not reflect those of the Council!


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What is a listed building?

A listed building is one which is of special architectural or historic interest.

It is protected by law and is identified by being included on a list of all buildings protected in this way.


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The list is compiled by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). There are over 500,000 listed buildings in England.

A copy of the District’s List of over 1,800 buildings is available for inspection at SNC’s offices.


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How are buildings listed?

Government has been listing buildings since 1932.

A major resurvey was undertaken in the 1980’s and many more buildings were added to the List at that time.

Anyone can apply to the DCMS to add buildings to the List. SNC will be happy to advise on this.


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Why are buildings listed?

Buildings are listed because the DCMS considers that they are of special architectural or historic interest.

Each building is judged by inspectors from English Heritage against a set of criteria -


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  •   between 1840 and 1914 only buildings of definite quality and character are selected, the works of well-known architects are likely to be represented.

  • after 1914 only selected buildings.

  •    between 30 and 10 years old buildings of outstanding quality and under threat

  • less than 10 years old - none


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  • all buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like original condition.

  •    most buildings from 1700 to 1840, although selection is necessary.


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  •    buildings with special value within certain types, (e.g. industrial buildings, railway stations, schools, hospitals, theatres, town halls,

  •    technological innovation or virtuosity (eg cast iron, pre-fabrication, or early use of concrete).

  • association with well-known characters or events.

  • group value, especially as examples of town planning (e.g. squares, terraces, model villages).


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  • Grade IBuildings of exceptional interest (about 2% of all listed buildings nationally are Grade I)

  • Grade II* Particularly important buildings of more than special interest (about 4% of all listed buildings are Grade II*)

  • Grade IIBuildings of special architectural or historic interest which warrant every effort being made to preserve them.


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  • Buildings are listed to protect and preserve them as part of our heritage and to keep them unspoiled for the benefit of future generations.

  • owners of listed buildings need to obtain Listed Building Consent before any works are undertaken to demolish, extend or alter the building in such a way as to affect its character.


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  • It is a criminal offence to demolish, alter or extend a listed building without obtaining Listed Building Consent.

  • Penalties are usually a heavy fine (up to £20,000) or imprisonment.

  • The offence applies even if the Local Authority would have subsequently approved the works.


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How much of the building is listed?

  • Put simply, all of it. Listing applies to the whole building including the interior and any other buildings or structures within the curtilage of the listed building. The list description is only intended to identify the property; so because a feature of the building is not mentioned does not mean it is of no value.


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What Requires Consent?

  • Demolition (of entire buildings)

  • Alterations inside or outside which affect the character of the building. Includes boundary structures and buildings within the curtilage.

  • The removal of fireplaces and staircases and potentially some repair work requires Listed Building Consent, even where proposed alteration is likely to be beneficial to the building


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Owners should be aware that

any unauthorised works undertaken by

previous owners become your

responsibility. You could be liable for at

least the cost of the reversal of the works.


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  • Planning permission, as well as lbc will probably also be needed

  • for extensions,

  • for change of use

  • For operations which affect the setting of the listed building

  • Includes enabling works


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  • When determining applications, the lpa or SoS shall have special regard to the desirability of preserving

  • the building itself

  • Its setting

  • Any features of special architectural or historic interest

  • Preserving means keeping from harm


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If a building is not being properly maintained, Council can serve a Building Repairs Notice on the owner requiring works to be undertaken within a specific time.

Failure to comply with such a notice could lead to compulsory purchase of the property.


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  • If the property is being deliberately neglected, the Council can acquire the property at minimal compensation to the owner.

  • If the property is unoccupied, the Council can undertake the works itself and recover the costs from the owner.


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  • Alteration or replacement of fabric should be seen as a last resort.

  • Where repair of an item is not feasible, replacement should be on a ‘‘like for like’’ basis using traditional methods and techniques.

  • If there is overwhelming evidence that an existing feature is out of keeping with the character of the building, a more appropriate replacement may be considered.


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  • Any alteration should aim to be reversible so that the building could be put back to its original form at a later date if necessary.

  • Listed Building Consent would be required for a such a change.


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Can I get help with repairs?

  • Thatching Grants- up to £2000

  • Article 4(2) Direction grants- up to £2000

  • Buildings at Risk Grants

    • Enabling development


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What about VAT?

  • Repairs to all buildings, whether listed or not, are subject to VAT.

  • However, Customs and Excise will allow VAT zero rate on certain classes of work to listed buildings, such as alteration,

  • the work must have been undertaken by a VAT registered builder,

  • Listed Building Consent must have been obtained for the work.


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  • Repairs to listed places or worship may be eligible for a grant equating to 121/2% of VAT costs.

  • Note that it is the contractor’s responsibility to charge VAT if it is payable on the work.


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What about insuring a listed building?

It is advisable to ensure that your insurance company is aware of the Listed status of your building and that the amount of cover you have is sufficient to fully reinstate the building in the event of a major incident such as fire or flood.


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How to get a building listed

At the moment, requests for individual buildings to be listed can be made to The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport at any time although priority treatment will be given to those which are under threat.

It is important to draw attention to any new evidence which may explain why the building’s special interest has previously been overlooked.


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Conservation Areas

  • 1969 Civic Amenities Act

  • Areas of architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance

  • Shimizu

  • Demolish whole building

  • Trees


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  • Conservation Area Appraisal

  • Management plan

  • Boundary

  • Environmental improvements

  • Article 4(2) Directions


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Heritage Protection for the 21st Century

  • White Paper

  • DCMS

  • Consultation until 1st June 2007

  • Revised principles of selection s6 of PPG15


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  • create a single system for designation to replace listing, scheduling and registering.

  • on the basis of special architectural, historic or archaeological interest.

  • publish new detailed selection criteria

  • devolve national designation in England to English Heritage.


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  • improve designation by involving the public in decisions about what is protected and how, and by making the process simpler and quicker.


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  • involve the public in shaping a new programme of national designation.

  • create new Registers of Historic Buildings and Sites of England and Wales to replace existing lists and schedules.

  • introduce simpler and clearer designation records and improve public access through new internet portals.


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  • open up the system by introducing

    new consultation and appeal processes.

  • introduce interim protection for historic assets.

  • speed up the system and deliver designation decisions faster.


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  • support sustainable communities by putting the historic environment at the heart of an effective planning system.

  • streamline regulation by merging Listed Building Consent and Scheduled Monument Consent, and by consulting on the merging of Conservation Area Consent with planning permission.

  • introduce greater flexibility into the system through new statutory management agreements for historic sites.


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  • consult on the scope for a greater role for pre-application discussion.

  • clarify and strengthen protections for World Heritage Sites.

  • enhance protection for archaeological remains on cultivated land.

  • provide local planning authorities with new tools to protect locally designated buildings from demolition.


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  • improve heritage protection system by raising profile of the historic environment, promoting a more joined-up approach, and increasing capacity at local level.

  • underpin new legislation with policy guidance.

  • EH will implement new programme of training, support and capacity building for English local authorities and local heritage organisations.

  • introducing statutory duty to maintain/have access to Historic Environment Records.


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Challenges

  • Integrating green energy with historic environments

  • Socio/Economics of ownership

  • Growth Agenda

  • Archaeology capacity

  • Targets and indicators

  • Defining character


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