Leading conservationists have slammed ‘damaging’ proposals to remove the need for listed building consent in Wales.
A group of senior figures including SAVE Britain’s Heritage director Henrietta Billings have written an open letter warning the plans could put tens of thousands of protected structures at risk.
A consultation closing tomorrow from legislation review body the Law Commission moots a ‘far-reaching’ change whereby listed building consent would no longer be required as part of the planning process.
SAVE said the move would ‘diminish the architectural heritage of Wales and frustrate and impede the many people and organisations who care for it’.
The letter, signed by nine major organisations, said: ‘Under plans suggested by the Law Commission, listed building consent – which is required for demolition or alteration of listed buildings – would be abolished and merged with planning permission.
‘The unintended consequence of this would be the dilution of the special status of listed buildings in the planning process and their potential future loss.
‘We urge the Law Commission and the Welsh Assembly to reconsider these damaging proposals.’
The consultation document said that under the proposal: ‘Works that currently require either listed building consent or conservation area consent – either as well as planning permission or otherwise – would in future require only planning permission.’
It added: ‘This generated a number of responses, some of which were expressed in strong terms.’
Pictured above: The Grade II listed Carmarthenshire County Museum in Abergwili
Signatories to the letter
Henrietta Billings, director, SAVE Britain’s Heritage
Lucie Carayon, director, Ancient Monuments Society
Mike Heyworth, director, Council for British Archaeology
Cyllene Griffiths, director, Council for British Archaeology Wales on behalf of the Wales Heritage Group
David McKinstry, secretary, The Georgian Group
Matthew Slocombe, secretary, Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
Catherine Croft, director, Twentieth Century Society
Christopher Costelloe, director, The Victorian Society
John Darlington, director, World Monuments Fund Britain