Skip to main content

Listing Applications (Planning)

Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 7 July 2009

11. How many planning applications involving demolition or partial demolition of a building for which an application for listing has been made have been submitted in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (284347)

These statistics are not collected. It would be difficult to do so, since planning applications are made to local planning authorities and listing applications are made to English Heritage. Planning permission is not in any case generally required to demolish an unlisted building outside a conservation area.

I thank the Minister for his answer. English Heritage reckons that five properties pending listing have been demolished in the past year. The problem of pre-demolition while listing is being considered is recognised by the Government, who sought to bring in measures for interim protection in their Heritage Protection Bill. That Bill is still on hold. Can they say when they will bring in measures, either as a stand-alone Bill to introduce interim protection, or through the Heritage Protection Bill, which is not controversial and has the majority support of Liberal Democrats and Conservatives?

Given the hon. Gentleman’s background in architecture, he has made himself something of an expert on the matter. I agree that it is important to protect such buildings. He is right that a requirement for interim protection for heritage assets, which are the subject of an application for designation, was included in the Heritage Protection Bill last year, and we will introduce such a requirement when there is a suitable legislative opportunity.