Policy HE4 Listed Buildings - Demolition of a Listed Building
There will be a presumption in favour of retaining Listed Buildings. Permission will not be granted for the total or partial demolition of a listed building unless there are exceptional reasons why the building cannot be retained in its original or a reasonably modified form. A listed building may only be demolished where comprehensive evidence is provided to demonstrate that every effort has been made to retain it.
Where, exceptionally, listed building consent is granted for total or partial demolition this will be conditional on prior agreement for the redevelopment of the site and appropriate arrangements for recording the building before its demolition.
Justification and Amplification
In this context of this policy, demolition refers to the loss of a listed building or a partial loss of some of its elements. Even if part of the building will be retained (such as in façade retention schemes), a proposal may still be considered as demolition if it would result in the loss of the majority of the listed building or of key features that contribute to its special interest.
There is a presumption in favour of retaining listed buildings. While it is acknowledged that on very rare occasions the demolition of a listed building will be unavoidable, consent will not be given simply because redevelopment is economically more attractive to the developer than the repair and re-use of the building. In cases where it is clear that a building has been deliberately neglected in the hope of obtaining consent for demolition, less weight will be given to the costs of repair.
Structural issues will not be given substantive weight when making a case of demolition where these have arisen due to neglect of a listed building through lack of maintenance or failure to secure by current or previous owners. Evidence will be required to indicate alternative options for stabilisation of the existing structure have been considered in efforts to retain the listed building. Reports submitted for consideration on the integrity of the building, including structural integrity, must be submitted by suitably experienced engineers, architects or building surveyors. Where proposed works would result in the total demolition of a listed building, or of any significant part of it, the applicant must submit details relating to the following:
the condition of the building, the cost of repairing and maintaining it in relation to its importance and to the value derived from its continued use;
actions taken to retain the building in use. Council will require to be satisfied that genuine efforts have been made without success to continue the present use or to find compatible alternative uses for the building; and
the merits of alternative proposals for the site.
There may exceptionally be cases where demolition would bring substantial benefits for the community, which have to be weighed against the arguments in favour of preservation. Even in these circumstances it will often be feasible to incorporate listed buildings within new development. Demolition of a listed building will not be considered in isolation from proposals for subsequent redevelopment.
The council will request applicants to submit detailed drawings illustrating the proposed redevelopment of the site to accompany a listed building consent application for demolition. Where the demolition of a listed building is granted by way of this policy it will be unacceptable to leave a vacant plot. Applicants are strongly advised to consider engaging the services of an appropriately qualified conservation accredited and competent person(s) to prepare such reports and consider the submission of a PAD at an early stage.
Where consent is granted for the demolition of a listed building the following conditions will be imposed:
prohibiting demolition of the building until planning permission has been granted and contracts have been signed for the approved redevelopment of the site; and
requiring, where appropriate, the recording of the building prior to its demolition.