Listed Building Consent
Many types of work to a listed building will require special permission known as Listed Building Consent and it is always advisable to check with the Planning Department whether Listed Building Consent is required for any works you are planning.
Listed Building Consent will be required for:
- Alterations (including partial demolition) and extensions;
- Repairs to the historic fabric that do match the existing exactly;
- Repairs on a like for like basis that require extensive removal of historic fabric.
Preparing and Submitting an application for Listed Building Consent
1. Understand your building. Understanding your listed building and its significance is the basis for sound decision making. Understanding what makes the building special will allow you to assess the potential impact of any proposed changes on the building and plan for repairs and maintenance. The listing description is a useful starting point in understanding a building and descriptions can be obtained from the following websites:
Conservation Principles for the Sustainable Management of the Historic Environment in Wales sets out a 4 step approach to assessing significance which should be based upon 4 values:
- Evidential value – the extent to which the physical fabric tells how and when a listed building was made, how it was used and how it has changed over time.
- Historical value – does the listed building illustrate a particular past way of life or is it associated with a specific person or event? Are there physical remains of these connections?
- Aesthetic value – this relates to design, construction and detail of the building and can include the form, the external appearance and how a buildings relates to its setting;
- Communal value – does the building have significance to people for its commemorative, symbolic or spiritual value or for the part it has played within in local culture or public life?
Summarizing these values will help develop a statement of the building’s overall significance and allow identification of the most important elements that may be more sensitive to change than others.
2. Contacting the Planning Department to check whether your plans or proposals are likely to be acceptable is recommended and may save you time and money. A site meeting with a member of the Conservation Team to discuss works can assist you in developing works that respect the special significance of the building.
3. It is always advisable to employ an architect or similar professional who has previous experience in working with listed buildings. Such professionals may have accreditation in building conservation awarded by their professional body.
4. Pre-application enquiry – For significant schemes to listed buildings involving changes of use, extensions and works affecting the wider site of the building it is advised that a pre-application enquiry be submitted to the Planning Department to assess the impact of the proposed works within a wider planning context.
The information required for a Listed Building Consent will vary according to the extent of the works proposed. A total of 3 sets of the following will be required as a minimum to enable consultation to be dealt with speedily and your application to be determined as soon as possible:
This is available to download from the Council’s website and must be completed, signed and dated.
Certificate of Ownership
This is found on the application form and must be signed and dated.
Site Location Plan
This should be an up to date plan of the site and the surrounding area at a scale of 1:1250. The application site must be outlined red and any other land in the same ownership outlined in blue.
This should be to a scale of 1:500 and show how the building relates to other buildings and structures on the site or adjacent to the site and identify any buildings or features to be removed and/or any new extension or additions.
Heritage Impact Statement
The Historic Environment (Wales) Act introduces a requirement for all applications for Listed Building Consent submitted on or after 1st September 2017 to be accompanied by a Heritage Impact Statement. This statement should be the summarised result of a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) which is a structured process to make sure that the significance of a listed building is taken into account when proposals for change are being developed and designed. It is a core part of the design process which should demonstrate proposals for change are appropriate by assessing their impact on the significance of the building. Cadw have produced best practice guidance on Heritage Impact Assessment in Wales (external link) which clearly sets out the basic stages of assessment, whatever the size and scope of the proposals:
- Explain your objective and why the changes are desirable or necessary
- Understand the significance of the listed building based upon the 4 heritage values; Evidential, Historical, Aesthetic and Communal
- Identify the proposed works
- Assess the impact of the proposed works upon the significance – what part of the building are the works affecting? Does this part display any of the heritage values mentioned above? Do the works enhance the heritage values and if so why?
- Set out the reasoning behind the preferred option for change based upon the above assessment, including why a particular design of material has been chosen.
The summary Heritage Impact Statement must include the following:
- A description of the proposed works including the design principle and concepts;
- The reasoning for the proposed works explaining what the works intend to achieve and why they are desirable or necessary;
- A schedule of works with reference to any photographs, plans and detailed drawings submitted with the application;
- A brief description of the special interest of the building and an assessment of its significance with particular focus on the areas or features affected by the proposed works;
- An assessment of the impact of the proposed works upon the special interest and significance of the building including reference to any potential benefits and any harm that may result;
- A summary of the design options considered and the reasons for the preferred approach/works;
- An access statement, if required (this is only necessary in relation to works which affect the access arrangements to or within any part of a listed building that is not in use as a private dwelling).
These must be up to date, in colour and clearly show the areas of building subject to the works and include close-views of details.
Drawings as Existing and Proposed
These should include accurate elevations, floor plans and sections to a scale of at least 1:100, showing the whole building or the part(s) affected by the proposed works.
For example these should include details of construction of new windows, doors, timber frames, shop fronts, staircases and mouldings. These should be shown to a sufficiently large scale such as 1:5 or 1:20 for full sized details for elements such as glazing bars, moulding and joinery details for example.
More significant works may require further information to be submitted to demonstrate that the building can withstand the proposals or provide justification for more significant intervention. This information can include:
- Structural Report – this should be prepared by a specialist accredited in surveying and who has had previous experience with listed buildings. The report should identify the structural condition of the building(s) and make recommendations for what necessary works are required.
- Method Statement – This should detail and describe the methods, techniques and materials to be used in proposed works.
There is no fee for the submission of a listed building consent application.
Applications for listed building consent for works affecting a grade II listed building may be determined within 8 weeks. Applications for works affecting grade II* or I listed building can take up to 12 weeks to determine due to the consultation process involved.
Cadw are the Welsh Government’s historic environment department. As part of the listed building consent process, applications for listed building consent affecting grade II* and I listed buildings are referred to Cadw who then have 28 days to decide whether the Local Planning Authority can issue listed building consent.