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Wed June 16 2021

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Heritage legislation aids property owners

9 May 13 New heritage legislation has been introduced via the Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Act 2013 that aims to make life easier for owners, managers and developers wishing to make changes to listed buildings.

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 was enacted at the end of April 2013, exactly 100 years after the introduction of the very first piece of legislation designed to protect buildings of historical importance, the Ancient Monuments Amendment and Consolidation Act 1913.

The Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Act 2013 introduces a number of entirely new ideas taken from the previously shelved Heritage Bill, the Penfold Review and other consultations including:

  • Heritage partnership agreements;
  • New types of list entry descriptions for listed buildings;
  • Certificates of lawful proposed works to listed buildings;
  • Revised certificates of immunity from listing; and
  • New national and local listed building consent orders.

Roger Mascall, director of heritage at planning and urban design consultancy Turley Associates said: “These changes are most welcome and will assist in the proactive management and conservation of listed buildings.  More importantly, the new regulations recognise that all parties need some degree of certainty when looking to manage change to protected buildings.  The new regulations should allow for this.”

He added: “Heritage partnership agreements will, for example, allow owners of protected buildings to enter into an agreement with a local authority that sets out which works are allowable without the need for separate listed building consents – a pre-granting of consent.  This is particularly useful for large estates or complexes with a number of protected buildings that need to be regularly changed.”

Mr Mascall said that the new list entry descriptions would also be well received by owners of listed buildings.  “Current listings tend to be very vague, causing delay and frustration when an owner wishes to make any changes.  This change will allow those designating to be more specific regarding the nature and extent of the listing thereby providing much needed clarity for all parties.”

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Also adding a greater degree of certainty is the introduction of certificates of lawful proposed works.

 “To date, it has been all but impossible to formally determine whether proposed works to a listed building will actually require consent.  A certificate of lawful proposed works, issued by a local planning authority, will categorically confirm that the works described do not effect the character of a listed building meaning that consent is not needed.  Notably, there is right of appeal if dispute arises,” Mr Mascall said.

“Certificates of lawful proposed works will effectively begin to introduce a body of decisions, some as a result of appeal, that should bring a degree of much needed consistency to heritage protection, allowing owners and developers to easily ascertain early on what may or may not require consent.”

Further guidance and secondary legislation is needed before many of these measures introduced in the Act can be fully adopted and no timetable has yet been given for this.

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