Local listing status

Friday 27 September 2019


Locally-listed status can afford pubs an extra layer of protection from unwanted development. CAMRA therefore encourages all Local Planning Authorities to compile Local Lists and to include appropriate pubs on them. Local listing must, however, be just one part of a wide-ranging suite of provisions aimed at protecting community facilities like pubs; in particular the Local Plan should contain firm and effective policies that guard against the loss of valued pubs. Equally importantly, Councils must then fully implement those policies.

Background The Government’s Planning Practice Guidance encourages Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) to create Local Lists of ‘non-designated heritage assets’ ; these are buildings etc. identified as ‘having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions but which are not formally designated’ i.e. not statutorily listed. There is no requirement on LPAs to produce such lists and many haven’t. The National Planning Policy Framework (2012) greatly enhanced the status of local listing, placing significant emphasis on the value and importance of all heritage assets, not just those which are statutorily listed. In particular, paragraph 197 requires the effect of an application on the significance of a non-designated heritage asset to be taken into account and a balanced judgement made, having regard to the scale of any harm or loss and the significance of the heritage asset. Councils have latitude to develop their own local listing criteria but both Historic England https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/what-is-designation/local/local-designations/ and Civic Voice www.civicvoice.org.uk/campaigns/local-heritage-list/ have produced detailed advice and guidance on Lists in general and selection criteria in particular. The Civic Voice guidance is especially good on stressing the positive contribution that unlisted buildings often make to the character of an area, including conservation areas. Councils can refuse planning applications which they consider would impact adversely on the appearance of a locally-listed pub and many have no doubt done so. We do know that quite a few appeal decisions have been made where planning inspectors have dismissed appeals on these grounds. Local listing really can make a difference.

Action for Members Firstly, check whether your Council(s) has a Local List. If not, ask why not and whether they have plans to create one. Should the response be negative, a next best step would be to contact local amenity groups like the Civic Society to see if they would support a campaign for a List to be set up. Where no such bodies exist, you could issue a press release highlighting the issues and seeking support; the likes of Parish Councils may well be interested. Where the Council already has a List, have a look at it to assess how well pubs are represented. Also, ask to see the selection criteria (which may well be available on their website). You can then consider which pubs in your area seem to meet the criteria and submit them for consideration.