Changes to Planning Control - Demolition of Buildings - April 2011

If you intend to demolish a building falling within one of the following categories as a separate project, you must apply to the local planning authority for a determination as to whether you will require prior approval for the method of demolition. This will be in addition to any other consent required for demolition (e.g. for heritage properties).

The changes mean that the demolition of a listed building, a building in a conservation area, a building which is a scheduled monument, or a building that is not a dwelling house or adjoining a dwelling house is now 'development'. This brings the demolition of such structures into line with the treatment of residential buildings generally.

Permitted development rights for such development apply, under part 31 of Schedule 2 to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, but an application to the local planning authority is needed to check whether the authority requires prior approval of the method of demolition (in line with the conditions to part 31 of the GPDO).

Demolition works come within the scope of the EIA Directive. The effect is that where demolition works are likely to have significant effects on the environment the local planning authority must issue a screening opinion on whether environmental impact assessment is required.

The Local Planning Authority will have to consider applications for determination for prior approval for this expanded range of demolition projects, in the same way as they do for the demolition of dwelling houses. They will also consider whether the demolition project is likely to have significant environmental effects and requires a screening opinion to be issued; as such projects can come under Schedule 2.10(b) (urban development projects) to the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 1999.