New Historic Environment Consultation

Holy Trinity Church, Marcross, Vale of Glamorgan

Holy Trinity Church, Marcross, Vale of Glamorgan

We launched our third public consultation linked to the implementation of the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and wider complementary measures on 16 April. We seek your views on a draft legislative order and guidance for the management of certain listed places of worship in Wales. We also want your thoughts on new guidance on the management of scheduled monuments.

Ecclesiastical exemption

Under the terms of the Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Order 1994, six religious denominations in Wales are currently exempt from listed building and conservation area consent processes: the Church in Wales, the Church of England, the Baptist Unions of Great Britain and Wales, the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church. This does not mean that these denominations are free to do what they like with their listed places of worship. Rather it reflects that they have internal structures and processes that provide scrutiny over proposed works that are at least as good as the secular controls exercised by local planning authorities.

After a review of the exemption regime, a new order has been drafted to clarify its operation in light of current ecclesiastical conditions and practices in Wales. The main changes in the Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Wales) Order 2018 are:

- removal of the exemption for conservation area consent,
- removal of the United Reformed Church from the exempt denominations, and
- clarification of the buildings covered by the exemption.

New guidance, 'Managing Change to Listed Places of Worship in Wales: the Ecclesiastical Exemption', has also been prepared to support denominations in their use of the exemption. It may also be useful for local planning authorities, congregations, and denominations and faith groups interested in seeking ecclesiastical exemption in the future.

Scheduled monuments

A new guidance title, 'Managing Scheduled Monuments in Wales', has been produced to join the well-received series published in conjunction with the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016. Aimed primarily at owners, occupiers and managers of scheduled monuments, the best-practice guidance explains what it means to own a scheduled monument and how to care for it. It sets out the general principles to consider when managing and making changes to scheduled monuments. It also explains how to apply for scheduled monument consent, including the roles and responsibilities of owners and Cadw, and provides details about where to get further help and assistance.

Share your views

This twelve-week public consultation will close on Friday, 13 July 2018 and we welcome your views on one or both of these topics. The consultation documents are available from the Welsh Government’s consultation web page, where you will find information about how you can reply online, by email or by post.