Wrexham's Historic Environment – Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and the World Heritage Site
Wrexham has a rich and diverse heritage that is evidenced in its wealth of historic buildings, landscapes, towns and archaeology that represent the historical development, growth and adaptation of the County Borough and the wider area over many centuries.
The planning system plays a significant role in the protection and conservation of the historic environment while helping to manage changes and accommodate and remain responsive to present-day needs. Wrexham County Borough Council as the Local Planning Authority has the statutory duty to manage and protect the historic environment.
The management and protection of the historic environment in Wales is set out within the following legislation:
- The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (As amended)
- The Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016
- The Town and County Planning Act 1990
- The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979
- The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 1995 (As amended)
The Historic Environment (Wales) Act is the most recent legislation for the management of the Historic Environment and amends two pieces of UK legislation — the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. The new Act has three main aims:
- to give more effective protection to listed buildings and scheduled monuments;
- to improve the sustainable management of the historic environment; and
- to introduce greater transparency and accountability into decisions taken on the historic environment.
National Planning Policy
Planning Policy Wales (external link) sets out the land use planning policies of the Welsh Government. Chapter 6 covers the historic environment and emphasises that the positive management of change in the historic environment is based on a full understanding of the nature and significance of historic assets and the recognition of the benefits that they can deliver in a vibrant culture and economy.
Planning Policy Wales is supplemented by a series of Technical Advice Notes (TAN). Technical Advice Note 24: The Historic Environment (external link) contains detailed guidance on how the planning system considers the historic environment during development plan preparation and decision making on planning and listed building consent applications. TAN 24 replaces the following Welsh Office Circulars:
- 60/96 Planning and the Historic Environment: Archaeology
- 61/96 Planning and the Historic Environment: Historic Buildings and Conservation Areas
- 1/98 Planning and the Historic Environment: Directions by the Secretary of State for Wales
- Planning Policy Wales (external link)
- Technical Advice Note 24: The Historic Environment (external link)
Cadw have prepared and published a series of best-practice guidance documents intended to enhance the provisions of the Act. The first of these guidance documents include the following:
- Heritage Impact Assessment in Wales
- Managing Change in World Heritage Sites in Wales
- Managing Change to Listed Buildings in Wales
- Managing Change to Registered Historic Parks and Gardens in Wales
- Managing Conservation Areas in Wales
- Managing Historic Character in Wales
- Managing Listed Buildings at Risk in Wales
- Managing Lists of Historic Assets of Special Local Interest in Wales
- Setting of Historic Assets in Wales
These documents, along with earlier Cadw guidance titles, can be downloaded for free from the Cadw website via the link below:
The Planning Department are committed to sustaining these valuable assets and can offer further information and advice on Wrexham’s historic Environment.