Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings
What is a conservation area?
Local authorities have the power (under Section 69 of the Planning [Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas] Act 1990) to designate as conservation areas, any area of special architectural or historic interest. This means the planning authority has extra powers to control works and demolition of buildings to protect or improve the character or appearance of the area.
How are conservation areas chosen for designation?
Conservation areas are usually chosen as places of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which should be preserved or enhanced.
The special character of these areas is not just made up of buildings; it is also defined by other features which contribute to particular views and the familiar local scene:
• the way roads, paths and boundaries are laid out
• characteristic building and paving materials
• the way buildings are used
• public and private spaces, such as gardens, parks and greens
• trees and street furniture
Conservation areas give protection across a broader area of land than listing individual buildings and all features within the area, listed or otherwise, may be recognised as part of its character.
Conservation area consent does not apply to listed buildings or the demolition of an ecclesiastical building in ecclesiastical use, for example a church; the demolition of a scheduled monument; and the demolition of any building in other certain categories.
The demolition of an unlisted building in a conservation area, without the consent of the local planning authority is a criminal offence.
For large development it is often helpful to discuss your proposal with your local authority before you send in your application – this is known as ‘pre-application advice’. The council usually charge for this service, and the amount will depend on the nature and size of the development.
4D Planning Consultants are able to attend the meeting with you or on your bahalf to discuss with the council - all the options, proposals, suggestions, and ideas.
What is a listed building?
A 'listed building' is a building, object or structure that has been judged to be of national importance in terms of architectural or historic interest and included on a special register, called the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
Compiled by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), under the provisions of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, the list includes a wide variety of structures, from castles and cathedrals to milestones and village pumps.
What part of the building is listed?
When a building is listed, it is listed in its entirety, which means that both the exterior and the interior are protected. In addition, any object or structure fixed to the building, and any object or structure within the curtilage of the building, which although not fixed to the building, forms part of the land and has done so since before 1 July 1948, are treated as part of the listed building.
Listed Building Consent (LBC)
Listed building control is a type of planning control, which protects buildings of special architectural or historical interest. These controls are in addition to any planning regulations which would normally apply. Listed building status can also result in the requirement for planning permission where it wouldn’t ordinarily be required - for example, the erection of means of enclosure.
This special form of control is intended to prevent the unrestricted demolition, alteration or extension of a listed building without the express consent of the local planning authority or the Secretary of State.
The controls apply to any works for the demolition of a listed building, or for its alteration or extension, which is likely to affect its character as a building of special architectural or historical interest.
The control does not depend upon whether the proposed activity constitutes development under Section 55 of the 1990 Act. It extends to any works for the demolition of a listed building or for its alteration or extension in any manner likely to affect its character as a building of special architectural or historical interest.
Section 7 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (LBCA Act) provides that, subject to the following provisions of the Act, no person shall execute or cause to be executed any works for the demolition of a listed building or for its alteration or extension in any manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest, unless the works are authorised. (Section 9 of the 1990 Act provides that if a person contravenes Section 7 he/she shall be guilty of an offence.)
Why are buildings listed?
Buildings are listed to help protect the physical evidence of our past, including buildings, which are valued and protected as a central part of our cultural heritage and our sense of identity. Historic buildings also add to the quality of our lives, being an important aspect of the character and appearance of our towns, villages and countryside.
What are the criteria for a building having listed status?
The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) uses the following criteria to decide which buildings to include on the list of protected buildings:
• architectural interest: buildings of importance because of their design, decoration and craftsmanship
• historic interest: buildings which illustrate an aspect of the nation's social, economic, cultural or military history
• historic association: buildings that demonstrate close historical association with nationally important people or events
• group value: buildings that form part of an architectural ensemble, such as squares, terraces or model villages
In broad terms, buildings that are eligible for listed status are as follows:
• all buildings built before 1700 that survive in anything like their original condition
• most buildings of 1700-1840, although selection is necessary
• between 1840 and 1914 only buildings of definite quality and character; the selection is designed to include the major works of principal architects
• between 1914 and 1939 selected buildings of high quality or historic interest
• a limited number of outstanding buildings after 1939, but at least ten years old, and usually more than 30 years old
Grades of listed buildings
Listed buildings are classified into grades as follows:
• Grade I - buildings of exceptional interest (approximately 2% of all listed buildings)
• Grade II* - particularly important and more than special interest (approximately 4%)
• Grade II - buildings of special interest, warranting every effort being made to preserve them (94%)
4D Planning Consultants have obtained listed building consent for many properties and developments around London and Manchester. One of our consultants is a former Heritage and Conservation officer at one of the local councils and is currently working part time for the English Heritage. Therefore our planning team have the knowledge and experise to assist you with any planning enquiry, specifically listed buildings.
Here are some of our projects that have been granted permission for alterations to a listed building:
- 2 Lytton Close, London, N2 0RH - Planning and Listed Building Consent for conversion of garage into habitable space. Removal of side access door and installation of 2no. windows. Associated internal alterations.
- 87D Duke Street, London, W1K 5PQ - Internal alterations to listed building.
- 59 Marchmont Street, WC1N 1AP - Listed Building Consent and Planning Permission for external and internal alterations to the 3 flats and roof of the building.
- 18 Lytton Close, London, N2 0RH - Enlargement of existing ground floor rear door and windows to create double door and window. Removal of ground floor partition wall.
- 8 Queen's Gate Place, Kensington, SW7 5NU - Reconfiguration of internal layout including partial removal of timber/plasterboard walls, reinstatement of joinery items and decorative features including flooring, architrave mouldings, plasterwork and doors. Replacement of casement windows with single glazed timber sash windows facing courtyard.
- 45 Westbourne Terrace, London, W2 3UR - Internal alterations including removal and addition of partitions and doors.
- Flat 3, 93 Cornwall Gardens, LONDON, SW7 4AX - Listed building consent for refurbishment works at basement, ground and first floor
levels including re-configuration of internal staircase and alterations to non original stud partitions.
- 18 Lytton Close, London, N2 0RH - Listed building consent, Planning Permission and Hampstead GS Trust Approval for - replacement of existing windows with new double glazed windows. Enlargement of existing ground floor rear door and windows to create double door and window. Internal alterations including removal and relocation of ground floor partition walls, installation of 'stair lift' on stairs between ground and first floor, restoration of fire places, pet hole in kitchen wall, new laminate flooring and internal enlargement of master bedroom. Alterations to front garden including new side gate to replace existing and new hard standing.
- 111-112 Whitehall Court, SW1A 2EP - Listed Building Consent for internal alterations of four bedroom flat.
- 47 Peter Street, Manchester M1 - Listed Building Consent - Internal and external works associated with a
proposed bar/restaurant use on the internal basement and ground floor levels.
- 54 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6HS - Change of use of listed vacant unit to resturant and bar.
- Flat A, 3 Thornhill Crescent, London N1 1BL - Listed building consent for retention of en-suite bathroom and sink in utility room.
- 91 York Street London W1H 4QE - Listed building Consent for Retention of railings on the first floor rear balcony.
- 111-112 Whitehall Court, SW1A 2EP - Listed Building Consent for insertion of air conditioning unit in internal courtyard.
- 26A North Audley Street, W1K 6WB - Listed Building Consent for erection of 2.75m trellis fence.
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