Reforms to Ancient Monuments and Listed Buildings law in Wales

Posted on: May 11, 2015 by

The Historic Environment (Wales) Bill was introduced into the Welsh Assembly on 1st May 2015. It proposes a variety of changes to listed building, monuments and historic environment law. These include for listed buildings:

  • A requirement to consult on the proposed listing of buildings
  • Interim protection during such consultations, and compensation if the building is not listed;
  • A formal process of reviewing listing decisions
  • The introduction of heritage partnership agreements (which are now available in England)
  • Temporary stop notices for listed building control breaches – a curious provision since the works would already be a criminal offence
  • Alterations to the urgent works provisions

For monuments:

  • Consultation and interim protection for proposed scheduled monuments
  • Retrospective scheduled monument consent
  • An ability to decline to determine repeat applications for scheduled monument consent
  • The introduction of heritage partnership agreements for scheduled monuments
  • Scheduled monument enforcement notices
  • Temporary stop notices
  • An explicit injunction power for the Welsh Ministers;
  • Requiring due diligence to be demonstrated, rather than just lack of knowledge, in any defence

Additionally the historic environment record will become statutory, as will the list of historic parks and gardens.

Perhaps the most significant amendment that could be added to the Bill is to introduce a statutory duty to have special regard to the desirability of protecting scheduled monuments and their settings, to match the greater protection already given to listed buildings.

Current heritage legislation in Wales is analysed in Richard Harwood’s Historic Environment Law  and its 2014 Supplement.