Planning Matters

May 10 2016

This month Chris looks at Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas and the new buzzwords surrounding these hot topics

This month Chris looks at Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas and the new buzzwords surrounding these hot topics

WHAT does planning have in common with the British film industry? I am fairly confident that Daniel Craig and Kate Winslet won’t be seen starring in a summer blockbuster about poring through consultation responses in the process of producing a Local Plan. And if they did, would anyone turn up? The British film industry, if it wants to appeal to a worldwide market, tends to break out the breeches and bonnets and concentrate on heritage. And the connection with planning? It is just a laboured introduction tying in to the government’s buzzword for Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas, which are now collectively known as ‘heritage assets’.
Another change is that English Heritage, the organisation with responsibility for protecting these heritage assets, is now known as Historic England. Listed Buildings enjoy a greater degree of protection than any others. Any works to their fabric require Listed Building Consent, obtainable from the local planning authority. In recognition that these buildings were not Listed until this designation was conferred on them by the state, there were two concessions made: Applying for Listed Building Consent does not require a fee to the council and the materials to be used in the works used not to be subject to VAT. In keeping with the ever-popular theme of austerity, the VAT concession was removed a few years ago.
If you are looking around for examples of Listed Buildings, you don’t have to look too far. Temple Meads Station and the Severn Bridge are both Grade I listed, the highest designation. Below this is Grade II*, where Historic England have a say in any proposed development and Grade II, where decisions are taken locally, taking the impact on the Listed Building and its setting into full account.
Fishponds
So where would you find Listed Buildings in Fishponds? Well, the biggest attractions in the listing are St Matt’s and nos 11,13 and 15 Manor Road, with their attached garden walls. These are all rated Grade II*. The rest are all Grade II and include the war memorial, the lower lodge, gate piers and chapel at Glenside Hospital, Cossham Hospital, the Old Tavern and also some more unusual features. It is not just buildings and walls that can end up on the List, as the inclusion of a group of three tombs in the grounds of the church of St Mary proves. Not too far away in Downend, there is even a wooden garden seat in a private garden that has been Listed. This demonstrates that Listing can occur whether the public has any right of access to the site or not.
Setting
It is not just the building or structure itself that can be affected by Listing. Anything that requires planning permission that is to be built nearby needs to recognise the existence and the setting of a heritage asset. This also includes development within the same cartilage, or grounds. Outbuildings within the curtailed of the Listed Buildings which are mentioned in the Listing are known as cartilage-Listed and share the same status the Listed Buildings themselves. The design of a development proposal should take full, demonstrable account of the building’s setting and this requirement can lead to potentially fundamental changes in design, such as the removal of parking spaces, for instance, as they would result in the setting of the Listed Building being affected.
ChrisGoslingPlanning@Gmail.com