Statutory Consultee on Listed Building Consent
We are recognised as one of the National Amenity Societies under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. This means we are a statutory consultee on applications for listed building consent in England and Wales. Under the Arrangements for Handling Heritage Applications – notification to Historic England and National Amenity Societies and the Secretary of State (England) Direction 2021 local planning authorities are obliged to consult the amenity societies on all applications involving the partial or total demolition of a listed building.
We campaign for buildings of all ages and all types.
We are unique amongst the Amenity Societies in that our remit covers buildings of all types and all ages. ‘Ancient Monument’ is an ambiguous term, but we take it to mean any man-made structure of architectural or historical interest – including houses, whether vernacular or polite, barns, almshouses, dovecotes, mills, churches and chapels.
We are supported by an annual grant from Historic England to assist us to perform our casework functions. We are grateful too for the annual subsidy from Cadw.
What does being statutory consultee on listed building consent involve?
Each week we receive notice of listed building and planning applications which involve alterations or the loss of historic fabric in both listed buildings and non-designated heritage assets within conservation areas. We play a vital role in commenting on such applications; preventing unnecessary destruction, opposing unsympathetic conversion, and championing sensitive new design in historic settings. Our comments are considered by both local authorities and Government departments in determining these applications.
Matthew Saunders, Lucie Carayon and Ross Anthony handle over 5,000 such cases each year, of which about 30 will threaten total destruction. That last figure is dramatically less than the 693 listed buildings that faced applications for total demolition in 1979.
The AMS has helped to change the culture in the 3 or 4 decades since then such that although the numbers of listed buildings has doubled in that period, the number of applications to demolish completely has plummetted.
How can I find out about cases you have commented on?
Our Casework Gallery shows some of the key cases we have handled in recent years.
The Society publishes three Newsletters each year which give a brief summary of key cases and news from the heritage sector. We also publish an annual volume of Transactions, in which select heritage buildings and cases are discussed and illustrated in greater depth. Newsletters and Transactions are mailed to all members as a benefit of membership. Back issues of the Transactions are available to purchase, and Newsletters can be sent out on request.
Volunteer to help
We welcome volunteers who are able to act as our local eyes and ears. If you have a basic knowledge of architectural history or conservation, your own transport, and a camera, you may wish to register as a volunteer.