Rules on Protecting Listed Buildings Alter

Article excerpt

Byline: By Julie Hunter

Depending on your viewpoint and vocation, listed buildings can be a source of pride or an inconvenient block on development.

The Government has introduced guidance altering the principles for selection of listed buildings. While the practical approach for the identification and classification of sites and areas of interest remains the same, criteria for selection have been condensed.

They now omit "group value" and "close historic interest", meaning sites which would traditionally fall into either of these categories will now be assessed under the two remaining criteria of special architectural or historic interest.

Buildings of architectural interest are important in architectural design, decoration or craftsmanship.

To be of historic interest, a building must illustrate important aspects of the nation's social, economic, cultural or military history. It must also display quality in its fabric.

When assessing if a building should be listed, English Heritage uses indicators including age and rarity, aesthetic merit, selectivity, national interest and repair. Care is taken to choose the best example of a style of building and ensure this includes buildings representing the local vernacular as well as those representative of localised industry. …