As we approach the Whitsun and summer holidays, many property owners will be eager to undertake some home improvement works. The National Park Authority would like to remind listed building owners that Listed Building Consent is usually required before undertaking any alterations other than like for like maintenance work. Undertaking any other work without prior consent is unlawful.
One of Eryri’s special qualities is its historic environment; the historic buildings that are dotted all over the countryside or in clusters, forming the towns and villages that are characteristic of the National Park. Some of these buildings are protected by law as listed buildings for their age, architectural features or associated history. To avoid penalties for unauthorised work on listed buildings, the Park Authority is calling on owners to contact the Authority to discuss beforehand.
When a building is listed, it is the whole building that is protected (both internally and externally). This protection also extends to curtilage structures and objects fixed to the listed building. Curtilage structures are ancillary or subordinate to the listed building and can include, for example, boundary walls and outbuildings. The Authority can advise on whether a structure does fall within the curtilage of a listed building, and whether or not listed building consent will be required for proposed works to curtilage structures.
To safeguard these listed buildings and the history and culture associated with them, the Park Authority has appointed a new Historic Environment Planning Officer to monitor the condition of our listed buildings, and to advise owners intending to undertake improvement works. In some cases, specialist architects may need to be commissioned when applying for consent. Despite the upfront cost, in the long term, obtaining specialist advice will be more cost-effective.
Eleanor Carpenter, the Authority’s Historic Environment Planning Officer said:
“Many people will take advantage of the summer holidays to undertake improvement works on their properties, so before they make a start, we encourage owners of listed buildings to contact us for advice as some alterations to listed buildings will require Listed Building Consent.
We appreciate that some owners would like to make alterations and improvements to their listed properties, however this has to be sensitively done using the correct techniques and materials, and with the relevant consents in place beforehand. We are open to discussing the possibilities to help them reach a solution that works for everybody. Unfortunately, if owners decide to disregard their legal responsibilities, as with some current cases, then we have no choice but to instigate an enforcement process.”
The Park Authority is eager to raise awareness of the responsibilities associated with owning a listed building, and therefore in due course we will be sending out letters to listed building owners reminding them of their responsibilities. The National Park Authority is also working on a ‘Buildings at Risk Strategy’ that will inform the process of dealing with buildings that are deteriorating.
Notes to Editors:
1. Currently there are 1866 listed buildings within the National Park’s boundary.
2. It is an offence to carry out any works to a listed building that would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest without the appropriate listed building consent. Penalties can include a fine (no limit specified), imprisonment, or both.
3. Planning Authorities, in close collaboration with Cadw, are responsible for approving any alterations to listed buildings by way of a Listed Building Consent.
4. The Park Authority can advise on potential architects, please contact the Planning Service on email@example.com
5. For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Gwen Aeron Edwards, Communications Officer – Planning and Land Management on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01766 770274 / 07887452467