Buildings are listed when they are considered to be of special architectural or historic interest.
This means that not only is your listed building important to you, but it is also important to your local community and contributes to the cultural heritage of Wales.
Once a building is listed, it is protected under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016.
Changes to listed buildings are managed through listed building consent, which is part of the planning system. The purpose of listing building consent is to protect the building, its setting and its features from unsympathetic works that could damage its special interest.
Listed buildings in Wrexham
There are currently over 1,040 listed buildings in Wrexham County Borough. These include castles, country houses, cottages, shops, farm buildings, bridges, churches, industrial buildings, memorials, milestones, gravestones and more.
You can search for listed buildings in Wrexham Country Borough on the following websites:
How are buildings listed?
In Wales the Welsh Government decides which buildings are listed. The Welsh Government is advised by Cadw (the Welsh Government’s historic environment service) in their decisions. Anyone can request that a building is considered for listing if they think it has special architectural or historic interest.
Provisions under the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016 ensure that owners will be formally consulted when a building or structure is being considered for listing. Buildings and structures being considered for listing will receive interim protection intended to safeguard historic assets from damage or destruction during the consultation period.
Listed buildings are classified into one of three grades:
- Grade I (one) — buildings of exceptional interest
- Grade II* (two star) — particularly important buildings of more than special interest
- Grade II (two) — buildings of special interest which justify every effort being made to preserve them
Regardless of their grade, all listed buildings are treated equally under listed building controls.
Listed building consent
Once a building is listed it is protected by national legislation and may require listed building consent for any work to be carried out. This is a type of control which is in addition to any planning regulations that would normally apply. Planning permission may also be needed for certain works on listed buildings where it would not normally be required.
The controls mean that any change to a listed building, which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest, needs listed building consent. Change may be desirable or necessary, but needs to be well managed.
It is a criminal offence to execute or cause to be executed unauthorised works to a listed building which can be punished by a fine, prison sentence or both. It is also an offence not to comply with any conditions attached to a listed building consent.
Which types of works require listed building consent?
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
This protection is afforded to the building in its entirety and both the interior (including fixtures) and exterior of the building are protected, regardless of the grade or reason for listing.
Any object or structure fixed to a listed building is also protected and this can include extensions (including modern additions), walls, porches and outbuildings.
Additionally structures or objects within the curtilage of a listed building which have been present on the land since before July 1,1948 are also given protection.
We would always advise that you check with our planning department to see if listed building consent is required for any works you are planning.
If you are thinking of carrying out works to a listed building, you can contact our planning department for guidance.
Preparing an application for listed building consent
Understand your building
Understanding your listed building and its significance is the basis for sound decision making. This 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. You can search for listed buildings and their descriptions through the following websites:
In ‘Conservation Principles for the Sustainable Management of the Historic Environment in Wales’ the Welsh Government sets out a 4 step approach to assessing significance. This approach is based upon 4 heritage values: evidential, historical, aesthetic and communal.
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.
Requesting advice from our planning department
Checking 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 our Conservation Team can help you in developing a scheme that respects the special significance of the building.
Seeking an experienced professional
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.
For significant schemes to listed buildings involving changes of use, extensions and works affecting the wider site of the building we would advise that you submit a pre-application enquiry.
This is so the impact of the proposed works can be assessed within a wider planning context.
Submitting an application for listed building consent
You can apply by completing the Welsh Government application form and emailing it to email@example.com. Alternatively you can also apply using Welsh Government online application
There is no planning fee required to submit an application for listed building consent.
The information required for applications for listed building consent will vary according to the extent of the works proposed.
Certificate of Ownership
This is part of the application form and must be signed and dated.
The following documents will also need to be submitted along with the application form:
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 2016 introduced a requirement for all applications for listed building consent submitted on or after September 1, 2017 to be accompanied by a Heritage Impact Statement.
This statement should be the summarised result of a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA). HIAs are 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 Assessments.
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 – which should identify the structural condition of the building(s), make recommendations for what necessary works are required and should be prepared by a specialist accredited in surveying who has had previous experience with listed buildings
- Method Statement – which should detail and describe the methods, techniques and materials to be used in proposed works
- Ecological Report – sets out recommendations to minimise and mitigate against any potential harm, necessary where works affect protected species
How to apply for listed building consent
You can apply for listed building consent by completing the Welsh Government application form and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can apply using Welsh Government online 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.