Context 154 - May 2018

C O N T E X T 1 5 4 : M A Y 2 0 1 8 9 ELENI MAKRI and BOB KINDRED Listed building consent: demolition, or alteration? It is essential that there is clarity and a shared understanding in the procedures that apply in assessing applications for listed building consent. How close are we to achieving this? Applications for listed building consent either for alteration or for demolition are required in all four cases illustrated in Sketches 1–4.You are invited to test your understanding of this important procedural matter, particularly if you are a conservation officer.Try circling the correct number against questions 1–4(a) and 1–4(b) and writing down your answers against (c) and (d). Ask yourself: (a) Which of the four would require listed building consent for alteration (1, 2, 3, 4) and which for demolition (1, 2, 3, 4)? (b) Which of the four cases, if any, are notifiable to Historic England (1, 2, 3, 4)? (c) If you were not sure about the answers to (a) and (b), where would you look? (d) How would your local planning authority normally deal with such cases? Questions (a) and (b) would be most reliably consid- ered in the context of the relevant statutory provision and therefore also in the context of question (c), as in the following: Question (a): Is it demolition or alteration? Answer: Appendix D of Notifications Circular 01/2001 advises that: ‘The House of Lords judgment in the case of Shimizu (UK) Limited v Westminster City Council [1997] 1 All ER 481 affected the long-term accepted practice of interpreting the term listed building through- out the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as including part of a listed building. This means that whether work amounts to demolition or alteration of a listed building must be considered in the context of the whole of the listed building and that demolition refers to pulling down a building so that it is destroyed completely or at least to a very significant extent . It follows that a scheme of works which involves the demolition of part only of a listed building, falling short of the destruction of the whole listed building, will be works for alteration of the listed building and will not constitute demolition for the purposes of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 unless they amount to a clearing of the site of the listed building for redevelopment.’ Accordingly, none of the four proposals amounts to demolition. Question (b): ‘Excluded works’, ‘relevant works’ and notifiable alterations Answer: Importantly, Arrangements for Handling Heritage Applications: Notifications to Historic England and National Amenity Societies and the Secretary of State (England) Direction 2015 (Direction 2015), section 3 under Interpretation, distinguishes between two newly introduced concepts, ‘excluded works’ and ‘relevant works’. It defines ‘relevant works’ as: (i) Works for the demolition of any principal building; (ii) Works for the alteration of any principal building which comprise or include the demolition of a principal Existing flat roof (shown in green broken line) raised to increase headroom Replacement of a 1900 outbuilding (shown in red) Existing ground floor ceiling (shown in green broken line) lowered, and existing hipped roof (also shown in green broken line) replaced with a new mansard roof Removal of internal and external walls (shown in red)