New regulations strengthen protection for listed buildings

New regulations strengthen protection for listed buildings, including temporary stop notices, fines for violations, consultation requirements, and limited compensation rights for property owners.

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Act (LURA) introduced several important changes and the latest set of commencement regulations, published on 25 April, will bring into force changes to afford greater protection for heritage assets. Below, we highlight the changes introduced by these regulations.

Temporary stop notices for listed buildings

Under the new regulations, local planning authorities (LPAs) have the power to issue temporary stop notices. This means that if an LPA suspect that unauthorised works are being undertaken on a listed building, LPAs can now pause any construction for up to 56 days (previously 28 days). This then allows time for the LPA to conduct an investigation into the suspected breach.

Offense for contravention of temporary stop notices

In order to reinforce the effectiveness of these temporary stop notices, an offence for contravening such notices has been established under the LURA act. As of 25 April, individuals found guilty of violating the temporary stop notice can be liable to pay a fine. While the act does not specify the exact amount of the fine, this provision seeks to reflect the seriousness of breaching these enforcement measures.

Consultation process for Building Preservation Notices

A Building Preservation Notice is a form of temporary listing served by an LPA, and it protects unlisted buildings, as though they were listed, for up to six months. The LPA must then make an application to Historic England who assess the application and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport who then decides whether or not the building should be formally listed. From the 25 July, LPAs must consult with the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England (Historic England) before serving a building preservation notice.

Compensation rights for property owners

From the 25 July, property owners will no longer have the right to claim compensation for delays incurred as a result of Building Preservation Notices. This change will not apply to Building Preservation Notices issued before to the aforementioned date.

These new provisions seek to provide greater power to encourage LPAs to take action against unauthorised works on listed buildings. How often they are used, will be interesting to see.

To discuss any of the matters discussed above or any other planning matter, please contact the team.