Local Authority Applications for Heritage Consents

A large number of historic buildings and structures are owned by public authorities. Local Authorities are under a duty to have special regard to the desirability of preserving any features of special architectural or historical interest (whether designated or not) as well as listed buildings themselves when they are in the process of appropriating, developing and disposing of land for general planning purposes (1).

When a local planning authority proposes to undertake works or development affecting a heritage asset, they will require planning permission, listed building or scheduled monument consent as appropriate, like any other person. However the procedure for applications by authorities for their own works is slightly different from the procedure for other applicants.  

Local planning authorities wishing to carry out their own development may in effect grant themselves planning permission by the relevant committees passing the appropriate resolutions. This applies even if the proposal affects the setting of a listed building or the character of a conservation area.

Where a local planning authority require listed building consent for the demolition, alteration or extension of a listed building in their area and the following conditions are met the authority shall make application to the Secretary of State for that consent.
a) The authority have notified the Commission and the National Amenity Societies of the application in accordance with any direction issued by the Secretary of State under section 15 (5) of the Act;
b) The authority have received an objection to the application from any of the above bodies within 21 days of the date of issue of the notice; and
c) The authority does not propose to refuse the application.

“objection = means a written notice to the authority setting out the objector’s reasons for objecting to the application and stating that the application should be referred to the Secretary of State.”

An application by a county council for listed building consent for the demolition alteration or extension of a listed building in their area together with any accompanying representations shall be made to the district planning authority  who, if the conditions of a – c) above are met shall forthwith send it on to the Secretary of State.

A third party may make a listed building consent application to the local authority for development on local authority owned property and it is determined by the local authority not the Secretary of State. 

Works to a scheduled monument owned by a local authority and works carried out by a local authority to any other scheduled monument require scheduled monument consent from the Secretary of State in the same way as for other applicants.