Recent government proposals have stated that listed buildings are to be renamed as registered heritage assets. This legislation will see the term “listed building” scrapped in England.
Under the proposed changes to the draft Heritage Protection Bill the new system will have the same Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II designations, but buildings and monuments alike will be called registered heritage assets.
This change should be very much welcome, as although the present system has served us well, it has grown over the last 100 years through incremental legislation. Today, it is a system that is over-complicated, with confusing overlaps, and hard to understand. Hopefully, any reform will simplify the system and bring greater efficiency and effectiveness, and also add clear and visible accountability.
There still remains a vast amount of complex laws regarding historic buildings, which can prove a minefield for people looking to renovate listed buildings, so its is vital to get expert advice to make sure any alterations are done correctly. It is particularly relevant where historic buildings are being converted into apartments or offices, which must not only ensure that the renovations are in keeping with the building, but also comply with a variety of planning, health and safety, fire and access legislation as well.