Part of the Heritage Counts series. 5 minute read.
Many changes to the historic environment are controlled via the planning system. The 'Planning Statistics' theme brings together key local and regional statistics about the performance of the planning system, including time-series figures for listed building consents, consents affecting registered parks and gardens, and scheduled monument consents.
Listed building consent
In general terms, listed building consent is required for all works of demolition, alteration or extension to a listed building that affects its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. An application for listed building consent is made to, and determined by, the local planning authority.
Where the works have an impact on the external appearance of the building, planning permission may also be required and, if so, should be applied for at the same time. The local planning authority must consult Historic England and the National Amenity Societies on certain listed building consent applications.
- In 2022/23, there were approximately 26,000 Listed Building Consent (LBC) decisions for alterations/extensions and 273 LBC decisions for demolition
- Over time, there is a declining trend in the number of LBC decisions (alteration/extension). There were 15% fewer decisions in 2022/23 than in 2000/01. Similarly, trends in LBC decisions for demolition have declined by 54% between 2009/10 and 2022/23
- The vast majority of LBC decisions (alteration/extension) are granted. In 2022/23, 93% of all LBC decisions were granted. This compares with 88% of all planning permissions. In general, planning statistics show that the proportion of LBCs granted has exceeded the proportion of planning permissions granted each year since 2000/01
- On the other hand, the number of LBC decisions made in time (for more details, see the section on time periods below) has consistently lagged behind all planning decisions. In 2022/23, 71% of LBC decisions were made in time compared to 81% of planning decisions. This trend has ensued since 2000/01. However, the gap between the performance of LBC decision-making and all other planning decisions has widened in more recent years. Historic England’s survey of Listed Building Owners and Occupiers indicates that these delays are having negative impacts on owners and occupiers
What are the time periods for determining a planning application?
Once a planning application has been validated, the local planning authority should decide on the proposal as quickly as possible, and in any event within the statutory time limit unless a longer period is agreed in writing with the applicant.
The statutory time limits for applications for planning permission are set out in article 34 of the Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure (England) Order 2015 (as amended). They are 13 weeks for applications for major development, ten weeks for applications for technical details consent, and (from 1 August 2021) applications for public service infrastructure development, and eight weeks for all other types of development (unless an application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment, in which case a 16-week limit applies).
Where a planning application takes longer than the statutory period to decide, and an extended period has not been agreed with the applicant, the government’s policy is that the decision should be made within 26 weeks at most to comply with the ‘planning guarantee’.
Listed Building Consents (LBCs) decisions
There has been a small decline in consent applications over time, but overall 93% were granted, and decisions made promptly are above 70%
Figure PLA 8.1a – A series of doughnut graphs showing LBCs, planning permissions granted, and percentage of prompt decisions made. Source: DLUHC.
Figure PLA 8.1b – 2 line graphs showing trends over time for LBCs, planning permissions granted, and prompt decisions made. Click the legend on the lower line graph to filter categories. Source: DLUHC.
Regional planning figures
- Trends in LBC decisions vary at regional level, with LBC decisions (alteration/extension) growing above the 2000/01 baseline in London and the North East. Meanwhile, they are declining in all other regions by up to 23% in the North West
- In 2022/23, 19% of LBC decisions were taken amongst Local Authorities in the South West and a further 19% by South East region authorities
- The West Midlands, London and the North West had the lowest levels of LBC decisions made in time (66% respectively); the East Midlands, on the other hand, had the highest levels of LBC decisions made in time (76%). This is nevertheless below the national average for all planning decisions made in time (81%)
Regional Listed Building Consent decisions, 2022/23
Southern England (the South West, South East and London regions) has the highest number and percentage of consents decided
Figure PLA 8.2 – A map of the 9 regions in England showing numbers and percentages (see separate tab) of listed building consent decisions. Click the legend to filter. Source: DLUHC.
Regional Listed Building Consent decisions, 2000/01 to 2021/22
Only 2 regions have an increase in LBC decisions in this time period
Figure PLA 8.3 – A map showing 9 regions across England which have had an increase or decrease in consents since 2000/01. Source: DLUHC.
Timeliness of Listed Building Consents granted, 2022/23
The West Midlands, London, and North West region had the lowest levels of LBC decisions made in time (66% respectively)
Figures PLA 8.4a and PLA 8.4b – An infographic showing total percentages of Listed Building Consents granted and their timeliness, and a bar graph showing LBCs granted and how quickly these decisions are made for 9 regions, National Parks and the average across England. Click on an item in the legend to filter. Source: DLUHC.
Scheduled Monument Consent
Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) is required for alterations to any scheduled monument.
- In 2021/22, there were 1,057 SMC decisions, a 22% increase since the baseline was established in 2002/03
- In total, 2 regions reported fewer SMCs in 2020/21 than in 2002/03: Yorkshire and the Humber (-6%) and the South West (-15%)
Regional Scheduled Monument Consents, 2021/22
The South East region has the highest number of SMCs whilst the North West has the lowest
Figure PLA 8.5a – An infographic showing the total of Regional Scheduled Monument Consents in 2021/22, and the percentage difference compared with 2002/03. Source: DCMS.
Figure PLA 8.5b – A map of 9 regions in England showing the number of SMCs in 2021/22. Click an item in the legend to filter. Source: DCMS.
Planning applications for registered parks and gardens
All planning applications affecting registered parks and gardens must be sent to the Gardens Trust.
- In 2021/22, there were 1,431 planning applications affecting registered parks and gardens, a 32.7% increase on the previous year and a 90.5% increase since 2003/04
Regional Planning Applications for registered parks and gardens, 2021/22
The South East region has the highest amount, whilst the North East region has the lowest
Figure PLA 8.6a – An infographic showing the total of Regional Planning Applications for registered parks and gardens in 2021/22, and the percentage difference compared to 2003/04. Source: The Gardens Trust
Figure PLA 8.6b – A map showing the 9 regions of England with the number of Regional Planning Applications for registered parks and gardens granted. Click a range on the legend to filter. Source: The Gardens Trust.