Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

That Lick of Paint Could Land You in Big Trouble

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

That Lick of Paint Could Land You in Big Trouble

Article excerpt

Byline: By Helen Wilson

Earlier this year, the administration of the listing system was transferred from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to English Heritage.

Applicants are now required to apply direct to English Heritage, which has the job of listing buildings to identify our architectural and historic heritage and retain them in perpetuity for the benefit of the public.

The list is a register which puts a mark against those buildings considered special, meeting the Secretary of State's statutory duty under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to list buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

In selecting buildings for listing, other factors, such as the cost of maintaining the building, suitability to modern needs and state of repair, are not considered (unless these have harmed the architectural interest).

All such factors can, however, be considered by a local planning authority dealing with an application to demolish or alter a listed building. In the past, the process of listing a building has caused concern and confusion. Under changes being implemented English Heritage will now notify owners if an application to list their building is being made by another party.

However, in exceptional circumstances, where there is an imminent threat of alteration or demolition by an owner or other party, the information may be withheld.

The criteria for listed buildings are to be clarified after a 12-week public consultation running until October 17. Any member of the public is invited to comment in this period on changes. Listing is the start of a process, rather than an end in itself. It flags the significance of an asset so its management can enhance its contribution to local, regional and national life.

It is an offence to demolish or alter any listed building without first obtaining listed-building consent (in addition to any planning permission that may be required). Protection extends to the interior of the building, if it affects its special character, and to structures within the curtilage of the building, for example walls, railings, outbuildings and paving. …

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