PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and The Built Heritage
Annex C: Principles of Selection
Please note: Annex C has been superseded by a revised Annex C which is available for download from the main PPS 6 hompage.
C3 The following are the main criteria which the Department applies as appropriate in deciding which buildings to include in the statutory list. Not all these criteria will be relevant to every case, but a building may qualify for listing under more than one of them.
- architectural interest -buildings of importance in the context of Northern Ireland for their architectural design, decoration or craftsmanship. Also important are examples of particular building types and techniques (e.g. buildings displaying technical innovation or virtuosity) and significant plan forms;
- historic interest - buildings which relate to important aspects of social, economic and cultural history or which have close historical associations with well known people or events;
- group value -especially where buildings comprise an important architectural or historic unity or a good example of planning (e.g. squares, terraces or a model village).
C4 Age and uniqueness are important considerations, particularly where buildings are proposed for listing on the strength of their historic interest. The older a building is, and the fewer surviving examples there are of its kind, the more likely it is to have historic importance. In general buildings dating from before the early 19th century, which survive in anything like their original form, will qualify for listing. After this period the choice is progressively more selective due to the greater number of surviving buildings. The proportion of post-1914 buildings that are listed is relatively small and normally only structures over thirty years old are considered for listing. Buildings are classified according to the use for which they were designed and built - industrial, educational, residential and so on. The choice of building within these types is made by a balanced evaluation using the criteria above.
C5 Where a building qualifies for listing primarily on the strength of its intrinsic architectural quality or its group value, the fact that there are other buildings of similar quality elsewhere is not likely to be a major consideration. Comparative selection would only play a role where a substantial number of buildings of a similar type and quality survive, and in such cases the Department would select the best examples.
C6 The external appearance of a building (both its intrinsic architectural merit and group value) is a key element in selecting buildings for listing, but the special interest of the building may not always be reflected in obvious visual quality. Buildings which are important for reasons of technological innovation, or as illustrating particular aspects of social or economic history, may well have little visual appeal.
C7 In the case of historical associations, there will generally need to be some additional quality or interest in the physical fabric of the building itself to justify listing. Either the building will have architectural merit in itself or it should be well preserved in a form which directly reveals its historical associations (e.g. because of the survival of certain particular features).
C8 Buildings of importance to Northern Ireland will normally be graded higher than those of more local importance based on a narrower context e.g. the townland. Similarly a well-designed building by a prominent British or Irish architect will be considered of higher status than say a modest 19th century terrace house, unless the sheer number of buildings of a particular category being lost increases the importance of those that survive. Northern Ireland’s vernacular buildings are a case in point.