Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990

Applies to EnglandApplies to Wales

Title: Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act

Category: England and Wales Act

Date: 1990

Reference: Chapter 9 ISBN 0105409901 [Full text]

General Description:

Part 1: Listed Buildings

This is an Act relating to special controls in respect of buildings and areas of special architectural or historic interest. The Act is extensive but the  most significant aspects are:

The first part of the Act  with the listing of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Compiling and publication of the lists. It also introduces Building Preservation Notices and authorisation procedures for works to be carried out on listed buildings. Chapter 3 defines the legal rights of owners of Listed Buildings, rights of appeal and the prevention of deterioration and damage, urgent preservation and grants.

Section 47: Compulsory Purchase Orders
The Secretary of State has the statutory power to confirm a Compulsory Purchase Order made by an appropriate authority if it appears to her that reasonable steps are not being taken for properly preserving the building (other relevant legislation is the Planning & Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and the Acquisition of Land Act 1981).  The Secretary of State also has the power herself to compulsorily acquire a listed building and any relevant land in such circumstances, but this is a reserve power for use only in exceptional cases.

Section 54
Section 54 of the the Act enables a local authority to execute any works that appear to it to be urgently necessary for the preservation of listed buildings in its area (other than buildings protected under the ancient monuments legislation and buildings in ecclesiastical use). The works may consist of or include works for affording temporary support or shelter for the building. Where the building is occupied, works may be carried out only to those parts that are not in use. The authority must give the owner of the building not less than seven days' notice in writing of its intention to carry out the works.  The Secretary of State may also use the powers under section 54 to execute urgent repairs herself but her policy is to use his powers only in exceptional cases.

Section 55
The Secretary of State has a statutory role under section 55 of the Act  to consider representations made by the owner of a listed building against repaying to the local authority some or all of the cost of carrying out urgent works on unoccupied or part unoccupied buildings, and to determine how much money, if any, is recoverable by the local authority (who may also make representations to the Secretary of State in response to those made by the owner).

Any costs of the works incurred under section 54 may be recovered under section 55 of the Act from the owner of the building, subject to the right of the owner to make representations to the Secretary of State: that some or all of the works were unnecessary for the preservation of the building; or in the case of works for affording temporary support or shelter, that the temporary arrangements have continued for an unreasonable length of time; or that the amount specified in the notice is unreasonable; or that the recovery of that amount would cause him hardship.

Where the owner of the building makes representations to the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State shall determine to what extent the representations are justified and shall give notice to the owner and the authority of her determination, the reasons for it and the amount (if any) that is recoverable. Representations are normally considered by way of a written representations procedure, details of which are set out in the Department's guidance note Section 55 Guidance Note on Procedures. However, in exceptional circumstances the Secretary of State may decide that it is appropriate to hold a public inquiry.

Part 2: Conservation Areas

Part 2 introduces conservation areas.  These area are areas of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. The Act provides the powers to designate these as conservation areas.

Section 69: Conservation Areas
The Secretary of State may designate a conservation area but this is a reserve power for use only in exceptional cases.

Section 76
Under section 76 of the Act, the Secretary of State can consider and decide upon an application from a local authority that section 54 of the Act apply to an unlisted building in a designated conservation area, if he is satisfied that its preservation is important for maintaining the character or appearance of the area.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Heritage, Listed buildings, Historic Features

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