LONDON, UK.- English Heritage will now be responsible for the administration of the listing system. New notification and consultation procedures for owners and local authorities will be introduced, as well as clearer documentation for list entries. Further changes will be made to the listing system throughout 2005/06, including the introduction of new information packs for owners. The intention is to make the heritage protection system simpler, more transparent, and easier for everyone to use.
The purpose of listing - In giving a building statutory protection against unauthorised demolition, alteration and extension, listing is an integral part of the system for managing change to our environment through the planning process administered by local planning authorities and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. It is the start of a process, rather than an end in itself, flagging the significance of an asset so that its future management can enhance its contribution to local, regional and national life.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (referred to below as the Secretary of State) is responsible for compiling the statutory list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. English Heritage is responsible for providing expert advice on which buildings meet the criteria for listing, and for administering the process.
The listing process - English Heritage are responsible for considering and advising on all applications for listing, and for making recommendations to the Secretary of State about whether to add buildings to the statutory list.
English Heritage will assess the building against the criteria published in Planning Policy Guidance 15 on Planning and the Historic Environment. Before a full assessment is made, the owner and local authority will be informed that listing is being considered (unless the building is considered to be under immediate threat), and asked for comments.
If there is any doubt about the significance of the building, English Heritage may undertake historical and documentary research, and make comparisons with other examples of the same building type. In most cases an inspection will be undertaken, although this is not always necessary. Where English Heritage consider that an inspection is desirable, the owners permission will be sought.
When the assessment is complete and any comments from the owner and local authority considered, the recommendation will be forwarded to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. After the Secretary of State has come to a decision, the owner, applicant and local authority will be notified, and sent a letter detailing the reasons for the decision.