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PPS 6: Planning, Archaeology and The Built Heritage
Annex D: The Upkeep and Repair of Listed Buildings

Maintenance and Repair

D1 Regular maintenance and repair are essential to the conservation of historic buildings. Owners who inspect their building regularly and are prepared to carry out routine maintenance and any necessary repairs to keep it weathertight, can prevent much more expensive work becoming necessary at a later date. It is a mistake to think that historic buildings have a fixed lifespan. In fact, unless there are intrinsic defects in design or materials, the lifespan of an historic building may be indefinite provided that routine maintenance and occasional replacement of individual elements, such as renewal of roof coverings and other features, are carried out before the failure of one element is allowed to adversely affect others. Major problems are most often the result of prolonged neglect, so it is essential that owners make regular inspections and adopt a systematic approach to maintenance.
D2 Most repair work to historic buildings will require the use of traditional materials and in some cases may involve specialist/traditional skills, so when employing a builder it is essential to make sure he is prepared to take the correct approach. Listed building owners should not hesitate to seek expert advice from the Department’s Environment and Heritage Service Opens link in a new browser window who can provide professional guidance on the use of materials and restoration techniques. Environment and Heritage Service has published “An Owner’s Guide” to caring for listed buildings, a series of Historic Building Technical Notes and, in conjunction with the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society Opens link in a new browser window, has also published a “Directory of Traditional Building Skills Opens link in a new browser window”. These three references should prove a useful source of information to all listed building owners and are obtainable on request from the Environment and Heritage Service.
D3 While there is no specific duty on owners to keep their buildings in a good state of repair it will normally be in their interests to do so. The Department has statutory powers to take action where an historic building has deteriorated to the extent that its preservation may be at risk (see below). In practice the Department will normally try to enter into dialogue with the listed building owner in an attempt to find a way to rectify the situation before resorting to legal action.
This section contains the following sub-categories.
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