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Fears for Welsh built heritage if listed building consent is dropped


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



Readers' comments (3)

  • Quality architecture is pretty thin on the ground in Wales, so I would have thought that listed buildings need all the support they can get... RIP Brynmawr Rubber Factory... etc

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  • Monica Cherry's excellent "Building Wales" is rapidly becoming a record of demolished buildings. Brynmawr is gone, Trawsfynydd is being demolished, BBC Llandaf will soon follow. This won't improve the situation.

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  • Wales cannot afford to lose the protection that listing "special" buildings provides. Brynmawr is the classic example of an iconic Welsh building that was needlessly destroyed when had it been listed it would have been retained and put to a new use. But listing should not be seen as a final unchangeable decision that a special building cannot ever be demolished or altered but ensure that before demolition or significant alterations are permitted or refused extra careful objective detailed consideration of what is proposed must be taken. Owen Luder CBE PPRIBA

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