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Listed Buildings

Summary (optional)
The Welsh Government is required to list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and this is done by an agency of the Government called CADW. Listed buildings, as they are generally known, are chosen according to national criteria and are graded I, II* or II to show their importance. Within the Council's planning area there are approximately 1,400 listed buildings and a schedule of them is available for inspection at the Planning Department.
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If you own or occupy a listed building and wish to carry out works of alteration, either externally or internally, extension or demolition, you normally need to apply for "listed building consent". Applications are made to the Council in the same way as an ordinary planning application although no fee is involved. Although the Council decides most applications, Cadw's views have to be sought beforehand and Cadw can intervene directly if it wishes. Besides listed building consent proposed works may require planning permission, Building Regulations approval, or both. To carry out work without consent is an offence and firm penalties can be imposed by the courts.

The owner of a listed building has a duty to preserve it and failure to do so may lead the Council to serve a notice stating those works it considers necessary to ensure its preservation. The Council also has powers to carry out emergency repairs itself and to recover the cost.

Related documents

Q: What is a listed building?
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.
Q: Does listing mean I cannot make any changes?
A: Listing a building does not mean that it is preserved forever in its existing state. It merely ensures that the architectural and historic interest of a building is carefully considered before any alterations are agreed. A lot of listed buildings can sustain some degree of sensitive alteration or extension. In fact cumulative changes reflecting the history, use and ownership of a building are also an aspect of the special character of a particular property. However some buildings are sensitive to even slight alterations especially if they have particularly important interiors. Repairs to a listed building might not require a Listed Building Consent application, as long as you use the same materials that are used in the original house. If you do intend to use alternative materials, or replace complete features such as windows, doors or staircases then an application is required. Owners of listed buildings are, in some circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain them and can face criminal prosecution if they fail to do so or if they perform unauthorised alterations. The listing procedure allows for buildings to be removed from the list if the listing is shown to be in error. Although listing does not mean that the building must remain unaltered in all circumstances, it does mean that demolition will generally not be allowed, and alterations and extensions should, as far as possible, preserve its special character. Listing is not meant to fossilise a building, all buildings evolve over time. It is a measure whereby the building’s special qualities are managed properly without losing the essential characteristics which made it important. This is crucial when changes are being considered, such as alterations or extensions. Change can be accommodated if the special character of the building is respected.
Q: Can I carry out emergency work to a listed building?
A: Emergency work can only be carried out to a listed building if you can subsequently prove all of the following : - that the works were urgently necessary in the interests of safety or health or for the preservation of the building; - that it was not practicable to secure safety or health or, as the case may be, the preservation of the building by works of repair or works for affording temporary support or shelter; - that the works carried out were the minimum measures immediately necessary; and - that notice in writing justifying in detail the carrying out of the works was given to the Council as soon as reasonably practical.
Q: What is the difference between listed building consent listed building consent, conservation area consent and planning permission?
A: Listed building consent is required for works which affect listed buildings. Conservation area consent is required for works which affect unlisted buildings located within conservation areas. It is not possible for the same piece of work to require both consents although a total scheme may involve some work which needs listed building consent and other work which requires conservation area consent. Both consents are aimed at protecting the special architectural and historic interest of buildings and areas. Applications for listed building consent or conservation area consent ensure that special consideration is given to the effect of proposed works on the architectural or historic interest of a building or area in isolation from the many other considerations which must be considered in the determination of applications for planning permission. To ensure that proper consideration is given to these special buildings or areas, the Council is required to notify or consult the public, English Heritage and/or prescribed national conservation bodies in appropriate circumstances and to take their views into account when determining applications. Planning permission is required to ensure that any proposed development or change of use takes place in accordance with national and local planning policies and with the knowledge of the views of relevant people or organisations. In determining applications for planning permission, a greater number of issues must be considered. Where works affect listed buildings or conservation areas, the consideration of applications for planning permission must give special consideration to the effect of the works on listed buildings and conservation areas. As the criteria for determination are different, proposed works often need both planning permission and listed building consent or conservation area consent.
Q: Should I discuss my proposals with the Conservation Team before submitting an application for listed building consent?
A: Advice to owners or developers and their professional agents is an important part of the listed building application process and the Council's Conservation Officers are available to discuss your proposal before you submit your application.
Q: How do I apply for listed building consent, building consent or conservation area consent?
A: Applications submitted to Conwy County Borough Council must be supplied on the Council's own application forms. Before filling in the forms, please read the Council's Notes for Applicants. Downloadable application forms can be found on this website. Online submissions can also be made. It is most important that you supply adequate detail with your application. In dealing with your application, Officers must be able to assess clearly the character, history and relative importance of the existing building and the precise details of your proposals to enable the effect of the proposed works to be appreciated fully.

Submit a planning application
Q: What penalties apply if works are started without a necessary listed building consent?
A: Any works carried out without a necessary listed building consent will immediately constitute a criminal offence. Legal action can be taken against anybody who was responsible for the unauthorised works (this includes the owner, professional agent and contractor/s). If convicted for an offence, significant fines or even imprisonment could result. In addition to legal action for the offence, the Council can also take listed building enforcement action to ensure that works are carried out to restore the building to its former state or otherwise alleviate the effect of the unauthorised works.
Q: How am I affected if I purchase a listed building which has had unauthorised works carried out on it?
A: If you buy a property with unauthorised works, you become liable for any listed building enforcement action in connection with the unauthorised works.
Q: How do I appeal against a refusal of listed building consent or conservation area consent?
A: If you need to appeal against such a decision, then you should contact the Planning Inspectorate



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