Heritage Assets

When is a non-listed property still protected?

If your property is not listed with Historic England on the national list, or its character protected if in a Conservation Area it may still be a ‘material consideration’ of the planning process if it is locally listed.

Each council holds its own list, and it wasn’t until 2016 comprehensive guidance on the criteria councils should use to define a local listing was issued by Historic England (click here for their guide).

Local lists afford a level of protection to buildings, landscapes and monuments that have historic and cultural importance to the local community and are a material consideration in the planning process.

The impact of the local lists should not be underestimated and be aware the lists are subject to be updated at any time.

Grovelands_church
Grovelands Church, Reading

For example, in Reading Grovelands  Church was not on the local list when its owners decided they needed to develop the site – demolish the building and build new flats with an element of ground floor community use. Indeed planning permission had been granted in 2012 for a scheme which had been largely community space with a few flats. A 2017 application had been refused for the development of flats, and a new application in 2018 sought to address issues raised. During the planning process in 2018 and the interrogation of the scheme the local importance of the building became more apparent. The decision on the application was deferred twice.

The building was added to the local list in November 2018.

Permission was denied in March 2019 owing directly to its local importance such that demolition could not be granted. Read more here.

Refer to your local authority to periodically check the local list – particularly if you are looking to purchase a property.

This example is a reminder that the importance of our heritage assets subtly changes over time as our culture and context adapts.

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