Listed property planning changes April 2014

New legislation that affects Listed Buildings and consents for works to them comes into force on 6 April 2014 under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act.

The Government has also launched a new consultation (18 December 2013) that ends 27 January 2014, which specifically seeks views on proposed secondary legislation that relates to Listed Building Heritage Partnership Agreements, Local Listed Building Consent Orders and Certificates of Lawfulness of Proposed Works.

Suzanne Bowman, solicitor at Adams & Remers comments:

“These new regulations which come into force on 6 April may be welcomed by many listed property owners, as potentially simplifying the task of owning and maintaining a listed property. It may however make the process of buying or selling listed property more complicated in the future as work will need to be checked against which category of agreement, order or certificate it falls under and the timeframe in which it was carried out.

“The Government consultation allows comment on the procedures for these.”

From 6 April it is currently proposed there will be:

Heritage Partnership Agreements that have the potential when used as the basis for a management agreement, to act as a focus for owners, local planning authorities and other partners in reaching a consensus view on the medium-long term management and maintenance of the listed building covered. This is to increase certainty for the aspirations and requirements of all parties and to save time and resources for the partners. It is not proposed to prescribe regulations for applications for Heritage Partnership Agreements nor are they time limited.

Local Listed Building Consent Orders will be made by local planning authorities granting general listed building consent for certain works of alteration or extension but not demolition of certain listed buildings in their area. This means that owners and developers will be able to carry out the works specified in the Order without having to submit a listed building consent application each time. Local Planning Authorities are tasked with notifying known owners of listed properties in their area of any such local orders that are created. There is obvious scope for an element of ‘postcode lottery’ in that neighbouring Councils may develop different policies.

Certificates of Lawfulness of Proposed Works will allow owners and developers to obtain formal confirmation that works of alteration or extension (but not demolition) of a listed building which they wish to undertake do not require listed building consent because they do not affect the special architectural or historic interest of the building.

Suzanne Bowman concludes:

“This could be very helpful indeed for all Listed Property Owners who have a Property which contains parts of no historical value whatsoever. Previously these have been protected by the Listed status of the Property as a whole but this allows for distictions to be drawn.

“The area of what work can and can’t be done to a listed property and whether if you are buying one, work has been carried out with correct permission is always a hot topic for homeowners and we will await the results of this secondary consultation with interest.”

Adams & Remers provide members of the Listed Property Owners Club with free legal advice concerning their properties throughout the year, and for the fourth year running will be offering free legal advice sessions to visitors of the Listed Property Show at Olympia in London on 15th and 16th February 2014.

Suzanne Bowman will also be giving a talk to delegates and hosting a Q & A session, visit Adams & Remers at Stand H22.