What is it?
Local listing is a heritage designation made by local planning authorities, often in conjunction with a local historical or civic society. Locally listed buildings are identified in the National Planning Policy Framework as ‘non-designated heritage assets’. This listing carries less weight than statutory listing but minimising the harm to locally listed buildings and preserving or enhancing their character is encouraged. There are no formal legal protections in place for locally listed buildings.
How do we use it?
Planning guidance advises that Council heritage officers can regard buildings as non-designated heritage assets, by virtue of any historic, architectural, environmental or cultural merit, whether formally on the local list or not. This has proven useful in campaigns affecting historic pubs or those with links to local or national celebrities.
Paragraph 197 of the National Planning Policy Framework requires a balancing exercise between the degree of harm and the perceived benefit of any proposal and its effect on heritage assets, either directly or indirectly. If a pub under threat is a non-designated heritage asset, this paragraph gives additional weight to an objection to change of use.
Tip: If anything significant happened at your pub you can use it to add weight to your argument for non-designated heritage asset status. Did a famous musician do their first gig there? Did an oscar-winning actor drink there?
How do I know if my pub is listed? How do I get it listed?
Councils are obliged to maintain a list; they review their local lists from time to time but resource constraints mean this is normally not a priority and hence it is sometimes outsourced to local groups. The buildings on a local list usually do not qualify for statutory listing but some do occasionally get upgraded. Very few local authorities maintain the list on their website but some have recorded the location of locally listed buildings on clickable maps accessed via interactive websites.
Any person can make an application to have a building added to the local list. Councils sometimes insist on saving up suggestions for the next plan review and it can therefore be some time before a building can be added. However, if a building fulfils the criteria set out in local policy, backed up by planning practice guidance, it can be regarded as a non designated heritage asset irrespective of its formal listing status. A building can become a non-designated heritage asset via an officer decision. A Council officer need simply make a formal record that a building is now a non-designated heritage asset e.g. in a planning report.