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LBC applications on the rise

Words: Laura Edgar

The number of Listed Building Consent (LBC) applications has risen since the recession, according to a recent report.

Heritage Counts 2015 (pdf), published by Historic England on behalf of England’s England heritage organisations, also suggests that half of owners who have applied for LBC say they

Figures from the report:

Why people didn’t proceed with their LBC application:

21 per cent owing to planning process being to complex

23 per cent because skilled professionals were too expensive

17 per cent because it was difficult to supply supporting information

Thoughts on the LBC planning experience:

50 per cent said they had a good/very good experience

34 per cent said they had a poor/very poor  experience

16 per cent said they had neither a good nor a poor experience

88 per cent of people said LBC is either important or very important to protect the special architecture and historic character of the property

31 per cent – the decline DCLG data shows in the number of standard planning applications from 2007/08 to 2014/15

11 per cent – the decline by which LBC applications fell between 2007/08 and 2014/15

had a good experience of the planning process, while a third said the experience was poor.

The report said owners of listed buildings were more likely to have a good experience of planning if they were clear on what types of work require LBC. Those who did not go ahead with their application for LBC appeared to be put off by the cost of skilled professionals and the “complexity” of the planning process.

The number of planning applications submitted during the recession declined sharply compared with pre-recession levels, according to the report, with LBC applications also declining, although at a slower pace.

Since 2012/13, the number of LBC applications has risen while standard planning applications have stabilised at levels lowers than the 2004/05 peak.

Since 2006, the report suggests the number of archaeological specialists has fallen by 23 per cent and the number of conservation specialists has fallen by 35 per cent.

The Historic Environment Forum (a cross-sector committee of people from public and non-government heritage bodies) has expressed concern about future funding cuts to local council and the impact it could have on protecting our historic places.

Sir Laurie Magnus, chairman of Historic England, said: “There remains more that can be done to improve the efficiency of the listed building consent system and to support these private owners, particularly at a time of continuing decline in local authority heritage staff.”

The report surveyed listed home owners.

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