What is a Building Preservation Notice? A Guide for Developers
A Building Preservation Notice is something you might come across in connection with an old, historic or architecturally important building. Here’s what you need to know about Building Preservation Notices.
What Exactly is a Building Preservation Notice?
A Building Preservation Notice (or BPN) is also sometimes known informally as a preservation order or building preservation order.
A Building Preservation Notice is an official notice which can be issued to legally prevent any work being done, or changes being made, to a specific building.
In legal terms a Building Preservation Notice is a notice issued under Section 3 of the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
A Building Preservation Notice is usually used where it is believed that the building is at risk of being changed in some way, or being demolished.
These notices are usually issued as an interim measure pending consideration of the listed building status for the building.
Once issued a Building Preservation Notice takes effect immediately.
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What a Building Preservation Notice Means
In practice, a BPN means that the building has the same protection as a listed building. That is, official consent must be obtained before certain changes can be made to it. Buildings subject to a Building Preservation Notice have de facto listed building status.
A Building Preservation Notice does not necessarily mean that all changes or work to the building require consent.
A Building Preservation Notice does not mean that the building has to be preserved or restored as such.
Which Buildings may be subject to a Building Preservation Notice?
A BPN can be issued on ANY type or age of building. They can be applied to residential, commercial or industrial buildings. They can be applied to buildings which are being used as well as vacant properties.
Building Preservation Notices are mostly issued in relation to buildings which, like listed buildings, have a special historical interest or particular architectural interest. This might be because of their age, their design, or because a person or event of historical significance is connected with the building.
Although BPNs are normally associated with very old buildings they do not have to be. A BPN can be issued on a relatively modern, 20th-century building.
Who Issues Building Preservation Notices?
Building Preservation Notices are normally issued by an officer representing the local planning authority (normally the local council) in the area in which the property is located.
BPNs can be served to the owner and the occupier of a building, including a tenant. A BPN can simply be posted on the building if necessary.
When a Building Preservation Notice is issued an application will also be made to obtain listed building status for the building. This will make the protection it provides and the need to apply for permission to make changes to the building permanent.
Objecting to a Building Preservation Notice
Owners and occupiers who are issued with a BPN cannot object nor appeal against it. If the building subsequently becomes listed they can appeal against the listing status, however.
If the local authority serves a BPN incorrectly or the building is subsequently not granted listed building status the owner may be able to seek compensation for any loss from the local authority.
How Long Does a Building Preservation Notice Last?
A BPN lasts for six months. It then automatically lapses, or may then be superseded by a listed building status within that time.
Once the BPN lapses another notice cannot be issued for a period of 12 months.
Building Preservation Notices and Listed Building Status
Building Preservation Notices are conventionally issued with a view to obtaining listed building status for the building which will continue the relevant legal protections for the building. An application for listed status will be made at the same time.
It does not automatically follow that a building which is made subject to this kind of order will gain listed building status. Although the notice is usually issued on the basis that the building will subsequently obtain listed status and that it will allow time for the listing process to be followed.
Legislation and procedures covering listed building status are similar in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland although there are some technical differences.
In England, the Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is responsible for considering and compiling listings of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. Historic England is responsible for recommending buildings for listed status. Anyone can suggest that a building should be considered for recommendation.
Penalties for Contravening a Building Preservation Notice
The penalties for contravening a BPN are similar to those for contravening listed building status and may be a criminal offence. They apply if certain work is done to the building and if consent is not obtained for that work.
The local authority can issue enforcement action against anyone organising or carrying out work without consent. Penalties can include fines, imprisonment and a requirement to reverse any work that has been carried out.