Changes to listed building consent regime planned

Significant changes to the listed building regime have been highlighted as a priority in a progress report on the Government’s implementation of the Penfold Review of non-planning consents.
The measures involve a move by the Government to reduce the number of unnecessary applications by legally defining a listed building’s special interest so only those parts of a building that contribute to its special interest are protected by regulation. The aim is to remove the requirement to apply for consent for works that impact other parts of the building.
The Government also plans to enable developers to seek a Certificate of Immunity (COI) from listing or scheduling at any time, valid for five years. This would change the existing arrangements whereby COIs are only issued in relation to listing and after the developer has applied for planning permission.
In addition the Government has proposed to allow owners of listed buildings and local authorities to enter into Statutory Management Agreements and enable works specified in such agreements to be undertaken without the need for separate applications.
To reduce the paperwork involved, the Government is planning to remove the requirement for Conservation Area Consent when demolishing unlisted buildings, and make this subject to planning permission instead.
The Government has signalled that it will consult on options for introducing a system of prior approval for specified types of works to listed buildings. Under the system Listed Building Consent would be deemed granted if the local planning authority does not respond to a developer’s notification by requesting a full application within a specified time period.
Ministers have also announced consultation on options for allowing certification of applications for Listed Building Consent by accredited independent agents.
To provide greater certainty to the owners of listed buildings and reduce the cost to local authorities of enforcement, the Government will consult on legally defining circumstances in which minimum compensation should be payable when listed buildings are subject to compulsory purchase.