Policy HE3 Listed Buildings - Change of Use or Extension/Alteration or Conversion of a Listed Building
All works to a listed building must ensure that the essential character and special architectural and/or historic interest is protected, conserved, and where possible, enhanced.
Change of Use of a Listed Building
Subject to the above, planning permission will be granted for the change of use of a listed building where this secures its upkeep and survival. The new use must be compatible with the fabric, setting and character of the building.
In addition, proposals must meet the General Policy and accord with other provisions of the LDP.
Extension/Alteration or Conversion of a Listed Building
Planning permission will only be granted for proposals for the extension/alteration or conversion of a listed building where all the following criteria are met:
the essential character and special architectural and/or historic interest of the building(s), and its features of special interest remain intact and unimpaired;
the works proposed make use of traditional and/or sympathetic building materials and details which match or are in keeping with those found on the existing building(s);
in the case of extensions, they shall be subservient to the existing building(s) with regard to height, scale, form, proportion and massing; and
architectural details (e.g. doors, gutters, windows, internal joinery) match or are in keeping with the existing building.
Justification and Amplification
Listed buildings are identified and protected by DfC as buildings or structures of special architectural or historic interest. There are approximately 600 listed buildings in Mid and East Antrim. This policy allows for the sympathetic change of use or alteration of such buildings with the aim of securing their upkeep and retention.
The unnecessary replacement of historic fabric, no matter how carefully the work is carried out, will have an adverse effect on the character, seriously diminish its authenticity and will significantly reduce its value as a source of historical information. Replacing original or earlier elements of a building with modern replicas only serves to falsify the historical evidence of the building. Listed buildings vary greatly in the extent to which they can accommodate change without loss of special interest or character. Some may be sensitive even to slight alterations, whereas others are more resilient to change.
Successful work to listed buildings results from a full understanding of the historic asset, its special interest, context and character. All proposals for change of use, alterations or extensions to listed buildings must ensure that the heritage value of the building is not lost or its character or setting undermined by unsympathetic or insensitive changes. Any changes should be complementary to the historic asset and be of a high quality, both in design and use of material. In principle the aim should be to identify the best viable use that is compatible with the fabric, setting and character of the building and it should be noted that this may not necessarily be the most profitable use.
Suitable alternative uses will be considered for listed buildings where this is necessary to secure their future. Any necessary adaptation of the fabric must be undertaken carefully and sensitively and have minimum impact on the architectural and historic interest, character and setting of the building. A detailed justification statement must be submitted to support an application proposing an alternative use.
The extension, alteration or conversion of a listed building will only be acceptable where a proposal ensures the protection, conservation or enhancement of the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses. Works will not be permitted where this would diminish the architectural integrity of the building or its historic interest. A high-quality standard of design will be expected for all proposals, and all applications for alterations to a listed building must be accompanied by a detailed justification statement.
Proposed extensions should be subservient to the listed building and respect the character and appearance of the listed building and its setting in terms of scale, height, massing, proportion and alignment and must use appropriate and high quality materials. An extension should be sensitive to the age and style of the host building, the original design intent of the architect and the historical functional use of the building. In assessing the effect of any proposed alteration or extension Council, in consultation with HED, will take account of all the elements that make up the special interest of the listed building and its setting. This may comprise not only the obvious visual features such as decorative facades, staircases or decorative plaster ceilings, but also the spatial layout of the building, the archaeological or technological interest of the surviving structure and the use of materials.
Change of use or alterations to a listed building will also require the submission of a listed building consent application. All applications should be supported by sufficient information to allow the impact of the proposal and its potential to secure the ongoing retention and upkeep of the listed building to be assessed. The amount and detail of information required will depend on the nature and significance of the building and the level of intervention proposed.