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GOVERNMENT PUBLISHES NEW HERITAGE CIRCULAR

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Planning minister Nick Raynsford and heritage minister Tony Banks today announced the issue of a new heritage circu...
Planning minister Nick Raynsford and heritage minister Tony Banks today announced the issue of a new heritage circular which

simplifies the way in which listed building consents are

dealt with. The circular also provides new guidance on the

implications of the recent house of lords judgment in the case

of Shimizu (UK) Ltd - v - Westminister City Council.

Announcing the circular's publication, Nick Raynsford said:

'The Circular which we are publishing today simplifies the

existing arrangements for enabling English Heritage and other

heritage bodies to comment on development proposals affecting

listed buildings and conservation areas. Some minor works have

been removed from the notification requirements altogether. Also,

the new arrangements will simplify the processing ofmany of the

listed building consent applications notified to the Government

Offices enabling local planning authorities to issue their

decisions on these more quickly.

'The Circular also gives guidance on the recent House of Lords

judgment in the Shimizu case. This concerned the meaning of the

word building'in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation

Areas) Act 1990. The effect of the ruling is two fold. Firstly,

the partial demolitionof a listed building will no longer

automatically require listed building consent. However, such

changes are likely to count as alterations and therefore continue

to require consent where they affect the special architectural

or historic interest of the building. Secondly, conservation area

consent will no longer be required for the partial demolition of

unlisted buildings in conservation areas although existing

planning controls will continue to apply. We are now considering

the implications of this ruling for future heritage legislation.'

NOTES

1. The new notification arrangements replace those presently

set out in DOE Circular 8/87.The bulk of this circular

wasreplaced by Planning Policy Guidance Note 15 (PPG15), Planning and Historic Environment'.

2. On notification, the Circular provides for:

local planning authorities to send English Heritage copies of

various planning applications affecting the setting of a listed

building or the character or appearance ofa conservation area;

local planning authorities to send various national amenity

societies, the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of

England (RCHME) and English Heritage copies of various listed

building consent applications;

local planning authorities to send the Secretary of State for the

Environment, Transport and the Regions (in practice the

Government Offices) details of various listed building

consent applications where the authority is minded to grant

consent but before they issue their decision. This gives the

Department a formal opportunity to consider whether to call

in the application;

certain types of development to be disapplied from the

requirement to seek conservation area consent for demolition; and

applications for listing building consent and conservationarea

consent by English Heritage to be determined by the Secretary of

State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

3. The main changes in the notification arrangements are:

in future, English Heritage will be notified at an earlier stage

about major changes to Grade II (unstarred) listed buildings.

This should reduce the number of this type of application which

need to be called in;

the requirements for changes to Grade II (unstarred) buildings

to be notified to the Secretary of State have been simplified so

that various minor changes are no longer notifiable. New

administrative arrangements with English Heritage will also

simplify the processing of many of the listed building consent

applications notified to the Secretary of State enabling local

planning authorities to issue their decisions on these more

quickly; and

local planning authorities are being asked to notify English

Heritage at the earliest possible stage about their own

applications to simplify their subsequent processing by the

Government Offices. LPAs' own applications for listed building

onsent and conservation area consent are determined by the

Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and

the Regions.

4. The new guidance on the implications of the Shimizu case is

set out in Appendix E to the new Circular together with various

consequential amendments to PPG15.

5. The Circular (Environment 14/97, DCMS 1/97) relates to

England. Separate notification arrangements apply in Wales.

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