The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 requires any works of demolition, alteration or extension that would affect the special architectural or historic character of a listed building to be authorised by listed building consent. Applications for listed building consent are routinely made to local planning authorities, who have primary responsibility for the control of works to listed buildings and their protection. However, some applications, including those relating to listed buildings in local planning authority ownership, are made to Cadw, the Welsh Government’s Historic Environment Service, acting on behalf of the Welsh Ministers.
The application requirements are set out in the provisions of the 1990 Act and The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Wales) Regulations 2012, SI 2012/793 (W 108). The latter were amended by The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Wales) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2017, SI 2017/638 (W 144) to require every application for listed building consent to be supported by a heritage impact statement.
A local planning authority may reject an application for listed building consent without reference to the Welsh Ministers, in practice Cadw. Cadw must be notified, however, if an authority intends to grant listed building consent. If an application raises particularly challenging or complex issues, Cadw may decide to ‘call it in’ and determine it directly. Otherwise, the local planning authority will be allowed to proceed to determination.
The Welsh Ministers may, by direction, release local planning authorities from the requirement of notification prior to the grant of listed building consent for specified classes of applications. Several Welsh local planning authorities are accordingly able to determine consent applications for grade II listed buildings that do not involve demolition without notifying Cadw.
Works to a listed building must be carried out in accordance with the terms of the listed building consent and any conditions attached to it. Unless some other term is specified, listed building consent will lapse after five years if the permitted works have not been started. A listed building consent may be revoked or modified by a local planning authority or the Welsh Ministers, although this may give rise to claims for compensation in certain circumstances.