PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and The Built Heritage
Listed Buildings: The Importance of Listed Buildings
6.3 Once lost, listed buildings cannot be replaced; and they can be robbed of their special interest as surely by unsuitable alteration as by outright demolition. They represent a finite resource and irreplaceable asset and contribute to the quality of our built environment. While the listing of a building should not be seen as an impediment to all future change Article 45(1) of the Planning (NI) Order 1991 requires the Department to have “special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses.” This reflects the great importance to society of protecting listed buildings from unnecessary demolition, insensitive alteration and unsuitable development and will therefore be the prime consideration for the Department in determining applications for listed building consent and considering planning applications for development which affect a listed building or its setting.
6.4 The Department will operate a general presumption in favour of the preservation of listed buildings. Applicants for listed building consent or planning permission affecting a listed building must therefore be able to justify their proposals and will need to show why they are desirable or necessary. As such the Department will require full information to accompany all applications to enable assessment of the likely impact of proposals on the special architectural or historic interest of the building and on its setting.