A: Section 1 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 requires the Welsh Ministers Wales to draw up a List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Assessment of structures for listing falls to Cadw's Inspectors of Historic Buildings.
Properties are listed under three categories:
- The majority, of special interest, are in Grade II.
- A much smaller number of particularly important buildings are listed as Grade II*.
- Buildings of exceptional interest (2 per cent of the total) are in the top Grade I.
All buildings constructed before 1700, and which survive in anything like their original condition, qualify for listing, as do most buildings dating to between 1700 and 1840. Between 1840 and 1914, only buildings of a definite quality and character qualify (especially those which are the significant works of principal architects). Some buildings from between 1914 and 1939, and a small number of post-war buildings, have also been listed. A building of merit, whatever its age, is eligible for consideration for protection by listing.
Listed buildings are protected throughout, all external walls, windows doors roof etc are protected as well as everything internally. Generally, any internal features that are original and/or add to the character and history of the building they are protected. The listing also protects any object or structure fixed to it and any structure within its curtilage which forms part of the land and has done so since before 1 July 1948. That is features such as boundary walls, gates, out houses and secondary structures. Some of these structures may be listed in their own right. Protection DOES NOT only relate to what is in the description.
A survey of all communities was completed at the end of 2005 which resulted in some 30,000 buildings being listed in Wales.