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Protected buildings – a brief guide to the legislation

Posted on by J Radford Group

Many people will have heard the phrase “listed building” or “building conservation” thrown around in television shows and on the internet, but with all the red tape which surrounds these buildings there are few who actually understand the legislation.

In this short guide we have collected up key information about the legislation regarding protected buildings in the hope that more historic and significant buildings get the adequate protection they require.

As you may already know, any changes made to a protected building must be approved regardless of whether they are internal or external. Of course, for many buildings it is due to age that the changes are needed and, despite the strictness of the legislation in place, it is there to help manage and regulate the changes rather than prevent them.

The Church of England has the most protected buildings under its ownership, and this is hardly surprising given the nature of these buildings, which undoubtedly hold some of the best quality art and structural beauty in the country. It is for the preservation of the historic nature of these buildings, as well as buildings in conservation areas, that permission is needed for such operations as demolitions and significant alterations.

In Scotland, the ecclesiastical buildings are mostly exempt from these rules unless they voluntarily put themselves under a protective bracket which requires permission for any changes made to the exterior of a building.

You might be wondering who or what informs the nature of which changes are allowed and which ones aren’t. For England, it is what is commonly referred to as planning permission, whereby you submit your plans to the local authority (usually the council) for approval. In Scotland the changes are informed by the Memorandum of Guidance and a number of other parties and authorities collectively before work can go ahead.

In terms of the actual conservation issue at hand with a particular building, it is said that those in the position of decision making should give due weight to the actual significance of the assets, meaning that the more prized the building is then the more caution and consideration there needs to be.

To make the whole process easier there are now ongoing discussions in England around lowering the amount of information that an applicant needs to supply, as well as the reduction in the circumstances in which the listed building conservation and planning permission is needed.

If your conservation building is in need of maintenance and cleaning then contact us here at J Radford today. Our highly skilled team offer specialist services to clean and protect your brickwork. Get in touch today to discuss your requirements and we’ll be happy to help find you the best way to conserve your building.

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