For works that require Listed Building Consent, a formal application must be submitted to the Council. It may assist and save time if pre-application discussions are held with Development Control at an early stage in the process. Amendments made after the application is submitted often result in delays. Except for the simplest applications, it is advisable to employ an agent/architect with relevant expertise in historic buildings. It is important to note that Planning Permission may also be required.
A listed building consent application should include a Heritage Statement. The degree of detail should be relevant and proportionate to the works proposed and should cover the following:
- Assessment of the special architectural and/or historic interest (signifiance) of the listed building, particularly those parts affected by the proposed development. As a minimum, applicants are expected to consult the Lancashire Historic Environment Record (HER) as well as the National Heritage List.
- Assessment of the likely impacts of the proposal on the special interest of the listed building (ie. will it harm, enhance or preserve)
If the proposal is likely to have a harmful impact on the special interest of the listed building, the heritage statement should include a justification setting out why the works are required and including an explanation as to why less harmful alternatives have been ruled out and details of any mitigation measures proposed.
There is no fee payable for making a listed building consent application. Certain works, such as extending a listed property, may also require planning permission for which a fee is payable.
The processing of most listed building consent applications will take up to eight weeks once the application has been submitted and validated.
Policies that apply to listed buildings
Many buildings can sustain some sensitive alterations or extensions to accommodate continuing or new uses, but listed buildings vary greatly in the extent to which they can be changed without harm to their special architectural or historic interest.
Legislation, national policy and Burnley's Local Plan seeks to preserve listed buildings, their settings and any features of architectural or historic interest. The Council would not normally approve an application to demolish a listed building; allow alterations that would involve harm to the significance of the building, obscure the original plan form, layout or structural integrity or otherwise diminish the historic value of listed buildings.
National policy on the historic environment covering listed buildings is explained in the relevant sections of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) with further guidance in the accompanying Planning Practice Guidance.
Receiving listed building consent
Consent may be issued with conditions attached, such as approval of sample materials before development commences. Any conditions attached to the consent must be addressed, and care should be taken to ensure that contractors are working from, and in accordance with, approved plans. It is important to ensure that your plans are carefully thought through. If you subsequently wish to alter your plans you will be required to submit a new listed building consent application.
Refusal of listed building consent
If consent is refused, or granted subject to conditions which are considered unreasonable, an appeal may be made. Appeals must be made to the Planing Inspectorate within six months of the date of decision. Further information on appealing a listed building consent decision can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website.
Any person who carries out works that require listed building consent without such a consent being obtained will, on conviction, be guilty of a criminal offence. The offence is committed by the person who carried out the works (ie a builder) and by anyone who caused them to be carried out (ie someone instructing a builder). The maximum penalty is two years' imprisonment or an unlimited fine. The Council may also take enforcement action to remedy unauthorised work. This can include the reinstatement of a building or its features.
There is no time limit from taking listed building enforcement action – even many years after the unlawful works were carried out. It can be served on the current owner of a building irrespective of whether they, a previous owner or any other party was responsible for the works.
Do I need to employ a professional?
All works to a listed building, whether repairs or alterations, require a high standard of craftsmanship and professional skill. In view of this, the appointment of suitably experienced contractors, craftspeople and other specialists is always recommended.