Scheduled monument consent
1. What is scheduled monument consent?
It is a criminal offence to carry out any works that would disturb a scheduled monument or the ground within a scheduled monument without first obtaining scheduled monument consent.
The main purpose of scheduling is to protect and preserve scheduled monuments. This means that there is a presumption against granting consent for works that will damage a scheduled monument. However, most applications are for positive management works.
When is consent needed?
Scheduled monument consent is required for a wide range of activities, including
• anything that would result in any part of the scheduled monument being demolished, destroyed or damaged
• work to remove a scheduled monument
• work to repair a scheduled monument
• alterations to a scheduled monument
• work to install signage including interpretation panels
• metal detecting
• flooding/drainage operations
• tipping operations
• planting trees
• forestry operations
• erecting fences
• repairing drains
• archaeological excavations
• development on a scheduled monument
You will need to obtain consent even if the proposed works affect only a small part of the scheduled area. A map showing the extent of a monument’s scheduled area can be produced using Cof Cymru.
2. Pre-application advice
We recommend that you contact us as early as possible before submitting any applications so that we can discuss what you want to do, advise you how best it can be achieved and which application process you should use. We will also advise on the amount of detail your application will need to include to avoid any unnecessary delays.
Depending on the scale and impact of the works you intend, you may be asked to submit a heritage impact statement with your application. This should normally include a statement of significance and explain how your proposed works will impact on that significance and why they are necessary. You can find out more about heritage impact assessments and statements from us and in Heritage Impact Assessment in Wales.
You may also need to seek professional advice from an appropriately qualified expert to help you draw up suitable proposals and assist you with your application.
If you are also applying for planning permission for a proposal that affects a scheduled monument or its setting, it is a good idea to seek pre-application advice from us , as well as your local planning authority and regional archaeological trust.
3. Applying for scheduled monument consent
In order to obtain scheduled monument consent you will need to complete and submit the application form below including sufficient information to show that you have understood and considered the significance of the monument when designing your programme of works and how it will affect the scheduled monument.
The level of information should be proportionate to the scale of the works and how it will impact on the significance of the monument.
As a minimum this should include:
• a plan and drawings showing the current state of the monument, what work you are proposing and where
• photographs showing the current state of the monument
• a written explanation of your proposals, how they will affect the monument and what you will do to ensure its significance is protected, retained or enhanced
• a certificate of ownership.
For substantial works, you will be asked to prepare a heritage impact assessment and submit a heritage impact statement with your application. This information will form the basis of that assessment where one is required.
Anyone can apply for scheduled monument consent but if Cadw receives an application from someone other than the owner, confirmation of the owner’s permission will be required.
4. The simplified consent process
If the work you propose will have a positive or neutral impact on the scheduled monument, Cadw may use the simplified consent process which means that you will not need to submit a formal application. Examples of works for which this might apply are infilling localised erosion around the base of a standing stone, replacing short stretches of fencing, re-bedding loose stones on wall tops, or installing plaques or signs.
In most cases Cadw will agree the works in discussion with you at a site meeting. Cadw will then produce a consent note outlining the extent and location of the agreed works, and setting out any conditions. Upon receipt of this notification you will be able to commence work immediately.
For further information please contact us for pre-application advice.
5. Class consents
There are some activities affecting scheduled monuments which are not normally damaging and can be carried out without the need to apply for scheduled monument consent. Consent for these works is issued automatically under what are known as class consents.
Class consents include the continuation of existing agricultural or horticultural activities. For example, if a site has been ploughed within the last six years you will not normally need scheduled monument consent to continue ploughing, providing the depth of disturbance will be no greater than that previously carried out. However, you will need scheduled monument consent for deep ploughing and sub-soiling.
Class consent also applies for urgent works in the interests of health and safety, but this is restricted to the minimum measures needed immediately to prevent personal injury. For example, this might include the removal of loose or overhanging masonry due to a vehicle strike on a bridge or building, where alternative measures such as preventing public access to the area cannot be implemented. In all such cases, you should safely store the material or building fabric and inform us of the incident as soon as possible so that the extent of urgent works to be carried out can be agreed with you. We may also arrange for an inspector of ancient monuments to visit. You must not use class consents as an alternative to applying for scheduled monument consent for carrying out planned health and safety works.
The activities covered by class consents are listed in Annex 1 of our guidance Managing Scheduled Monuments in Wales.
6. Scheduled monument consent and planning permission
If the work you wish to carry out at a scheduled monument requires planning permission, you will need to obtain both planning permission (from the local planning authority) and scheduled monument consent (from us). Planning permission on its own is not sufficient to authorise the works to take place. Applications for full planning consent will normally require a similar level of information as that required for scheduled monument consent. Applications are best made concurrently.
Planning guidance states that there should be a presumption in favour of the in situ physical preservation of archaeological remains of national importance. It also states that local planning authorities should take account of the settings of scheduled monuments when determining planning applications. Where a planning application directly affects a scheduled monument or its setting then the local planning authority must consult Cadw. Planning permission will not be granted, (except in exceptional circumstances) if a development would result in a negative impact on a scheduled monument or a significantly damaging effect on its setting.
Where a planning application directly affects a scheduled monument or its setting then the local planning authority must consult Cadw.
Scheduled monument consent and listed building consent
Where a monument or building is both scheduled and listed, you will need to apply for scheduled monument consent from Cadw, not listed building consent.
7. How are consent applications assessed?
All applications are assessed by Cadw on behalf of the Welsh Ministers. The assessment is based on the information you have submitted and our knowledge of the scheduled monument. An inspector of ancient monuments may also need to visit to assess the impact of your proposals; if so, they will contact you to make an appointment. If you have not submitted enough information for us to be able to make an assessment, you will be asked to provide further details.
When assessing applications for consent there is a presumption in favour of physically preserving scheduled monuments. This means that there is a presumption against proposals which would involve significant alteration or cause damage, or which would have a significant impact on the setting of remains.
The legislation requires the Welsh Ministers to take account of any representations made by any person when deciding whether to grant scheduled monument consent. We will first issue you with an interim decision letter, which includes details of any proposed conditions for granting consent or the reasons for any refusal. You may present additional information in response to this interim letter.
We may decide to refer the case to an independent inspector within The Planning Inspectorate to advise on the merits of the application when there are unresolved agreements. We would then determine the application on behalf of the Welsh Ministers taking into account a report produced by the planning inspector. In practice, this process is rarely needed because most disagreements over the terms of consents are settled informally through representations made directly to us.