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Minister publishes new criteria for listing buildings

Environment Minister Edwin Poots today published new criteria for the listing of buildings.
Thursday, 24 March 2011

The new criteria provides more detailed guidance on the approach followed by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and for the first time provides an in depth explanation of the criteria referred to on listing reports.

Mr Poots said: “My Department protects Northern Ireland’s listed historic buildings because they are of special architectural or historic interest. Decisions on which parts of our heritage fall into this category can often be controversial and it is important that clear guidance is available.

“These protected structures represent the best of our historic buildings. They are a legacy to be cherished in their own right and because they add character and richness to our surroundings.

“It is important that this heritage remains intact and is utilised - not least as an essential draw for the tourism industry- as we seek to make the most of Northern Ireland’s potential for the future.

“Clear criteria has an important role to play in this, as the public and owners can better understand why structures have been protected.

“I welcome this new publication which I hope will contribute to a wider understanding of why the NIEA protects such structures.”

Copies of the new criteria for listing can be downloaded from the Planning Service website and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency website.

Notes to editors:

  1. Under Article 42 of the Planning (NI) Order 1991 the Department of the Environment has a statutory duty to compile lists of buildings of ‘special architectural or historic interest’.
  2. The publication of criteria for listing follows a consultation beginning in April 2010 and the publication of a summary of responses in November.2010 The revised document will supersede the existing Annex C of Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage of 1999.
  3. As the legislation underpinning listing remains unchanged the overall approach taken by NIEA will remain the same. The key aim is to improve clarity in regard to decisions and in particular how historic interest is assessed.
  4. There are approximately 8,500 listed buildings in Northern Ireland and they constitute less than 2% of Northern Ireland’s total building stock.
  5. For media enquiries please contact DOE Communications on 028 9054 0003 or out of office hours, contact the EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.