Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19

Listed Buildings and their setting

14.9 The NPPF sets out the general approach to conserving and enhancing the historic environment and the impact of development on designated and non-designated heritage assets and conservation areas (paragraphs 126-141). The Council will assess proposals to alter or extend a listed building against the need to preserve the special architectural or historic interest which led to the building being listed. There is a general presumption in favour of the preservation of listed buildings, and consent to demolish or partly demolish such buildings will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

14.10 The setting of listed buildings may be affected by development. It is important that applications for planning permission for development affecting listed buildings, or their settings, include full details of the proposal so that an informed decision can be reached and will be supported where they preserve or better reveal the significance of the Listed Building.

Local Heritage Assets

14.11 Local heritage assets, including buildings, structures, features and gardens of local interest, are an important element of the rich history of a settlement and reinforce local distinctiveness and sense of place.

14.12 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local planning authorities to have an up to date understanding of the local historic environment and its significance. Although not likely to meet the current criteria for statutory listing, local heritage assets are important to their locality by reason of their cultural, architectural and historical contribution.

14.13 The retention of local heritage assets may be achieved through appropriate adaptive re-use or change of use. A high quality historic built environment can aid economic regeneration and investment.

14.14 Unlike statutory listed buildings or Registered Parks and Gardens, Local Designated Asset status does not put any extra planning constraints on a property; rather it would be a material consideration if a development was proposed (i.e. the historical and architectural quality of the building would be taken into consideration). In addition, it is intended that the locally designated Asset Register will raise the profile of and give recognition to the buildings and parks that are of special importance to Thanet.

14.15 The NPPF supports the introduction of locally designated heritage assets and heritage best practice encourages further support to this important local designation by the introduction of Article 4 (2) to all locally designated single dwellings within a conservation area.

14.16 Authorised works to single dwellings are permitted under Article 3 of the Town and County (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 as amended by the Town and County Planning General Permitted Development (Amendment) Order 2008 which came into force from 1st October 2008.

14.17 Many of these small scale permitted development works such as the replacement of as built timber windows and doors with plastic in modern styles can significantly harm the character and appearance of historic buildings and areas.

14.18 When a building is statutory listed this problem is avoided by the requirement for listed building consent. In the case of unlisted buildings (even those locally listed) Article 3 of the General Permitted Development Order allows a vast range of works to be carried out without the need to apply for planning permission.

14.19 Within conservation areas permitted development rights are more limited than elsewhere but even so those works can still degrade the character of individual buildings as a result of inappropriate changes.

14.20 A local planning authority can restrict the permitted development rights of property owners to carry out certain categories of development that would otherwise be automatically allowed through the making of an Article 4 direction. These directions can be made to cover one or more properties and they can restrict one or more classes of development.

14.21 The effect of an Article 4(2) Direction is not that development within the particular class in Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Orders cannot be carried out but simply that it is no longer automatically permitted, but instead must be subject to a specific planning application (for which there is no fee). This does not necessarily mean that the local planning authority will refuse permission for the works but it does enable the authority to retain some control over the design and detailing of the proposed development and to grant permission subject to appropriate conditions. The introduction of these directions is not intended to prevent all change, but rather to manage the way building and landscape alterations are carried out.

14.22 Before undertaking any works to a designated heritage asset, the significance of that asset must be clearly understood, as well as the potential impact of the development. Where listed buildings are concerned, it is important to address the full impact of modern building standards concerning aspects such as fire prevention, sound and thermal insulation, energy-efficiency savings and disabled access. Pre-application meetings are strongly recommended to ensure that standards can be accommodated without jeopardising the special interest of the building. Applicants considering works to a listed building are also advised to consult best practice guidance.

Policy HE03 - Local Heritage Assets

The Council supports the retention of local heritage assets, including buildings, structures, features and gardens of local interest. Local heritage assets will be identified in a local list as part of the Heritage Strategy.

Proposals that affect non-designated heritage assets, will be assessed on the scale of harm, both direct and indirect, or loss and the significance of the heritage asset. Proposals will only be permitted where they retain the significance, appearance, local distinctiveness, character or setting of a local heritage asset.