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Authorisation for works to Baptist listed buildings


If your chapel is a listed building you will need to apply for authorisation to undertake works to it, in addition to any planning permissions and building regulations approvals required.
Churches in membership with either the Baptist Union of Great Britain, or the Baptist Union of Wales, and whose property trustees are either the Baptist Union or a regional Baptist Corporation, should apply for authorisation from the Baptist Union's Listed Buildings Advisory Committee (LBAC).
If your church is not in membership with the Union, or your property trustees are not the Baptist Union or a regional Baptist Corporation, you will need to apply to your local planning authority for secular Listed Building Consent.
To check which form of authorisation applies to your church, or if you can't find the information about authorisation for works to listed buildings that you are looking for on the page below, please contact us.
See below for more information on: 
  • What is Authorisation for works to a Baptist listed building
  • When you need to apply for Authorisation for works to a Baptist listed building
  • Why Baptist Churches apply to the Union for Authorisation instead of their Local Authority 

What is Authorisation for works to a Baptist listed building?

Authorisation for works to a Baptist listed building is what ensures our heritage is conserved, and where appropriate enhanced, in a way that is consistent with its significance and thereby achieving sustainable development. It is broadly similar to secular listed building consent (a type of planning permission given by Local Planning Authorities required for the alteration or extension of a listed building).
Baptist churches with listed buildings must apply for Authorisation if they intend to make any alterations to their building, or any building or structure within its curtilage*, which might affect its special or architectural interest.
Failure to seek authorisation when it is required may result in a penalty and/or the requirement to reinstate any works to the listed building undertaken without authorisation
Applications for Authorisation for works to a Baptist listed building are considered by the Baptist Union Listed Buildings Advisory Committee. If approved, a Certificate of Authorisation is issued, which grants permission to undertake the works.

(*curtilage is the land around a building and any structures within it; see Historic England's guidance here and read more on CADW's website)
Please note: Listing does not only apply to a building's façade, nor does a building's special and architectural interest lie only in features such as decorative plasterwork, glass or carving; the whole of your building, as well as any structures attached to it or within its curtilage, are listed, and it's layout or vertical proportions may be just as important to its heritage value as these physical elements.
For more information on identifying the aspects of your building which have heritage significance, see our page on Statements of Significance.


When do we need authorisation to undertake works to our listed building?

Authorisation for works to your Baptist listed building is required for any repair or change to your building which may affect the physical, aesthetic or characteristic aspects which contribute to its architectural or historic significance.
Typical works requiring listed building consent include the replacement of windows (unless completely like-for-like), thermal upgrading such as the addition of loft insultation or secondary glazing, and make accessibility improvements. If you are unsure whether you need listed building consent for your repairs or improvement project, please contact us.
Please note, in addition to Authorisation, some works may also require planning permission and building regulations approval from your local planning authority. For further information contact your local planning authority.

Why do Baptist Churches apply to the Union for authorisation instead of the Local Authority and how is it different?

The Ecclesiastical Exemption
The ecclesiastical exemption enables religious denominations to administer their own permissions for works to listed places of worship, provided they are able to demonstrate that the procedures in place for doing so are comparable to secular Listed Building Consent procedures.
This special treatment of places of worship "reduces the burdens on the planning system while maintaining an appropriate level of protection and reflecting the particular need of listed buildings in use as places of worship to be able to adapt to changing needs over time to ensure their survival in their intended use. It is widely acknowledged that keeping a building in use is more likely to result in the preservation, proper maintenance and sustainability of that building." DCMS
Applications for Authorisation for works considered by the Baptist Union are decided on by an expert committee - the Listed Buildings Advisory Committee. The Listed Buildings Advisory Committee represent knowledge and experience in a range of areas including building conservation and planning, architectural and Baptist history, and importantly Baptist mission and ministry, enabling them to weigh the particular factors represented by each case, as well as provide expert advice to applicants.

Further information

View and download the Baptists Together Guideline Leaflets relating to Authorisation for works to Baptist Listed Buildings here:
Applying to the Listed Buildings Advisory Committee
Professional Advisors and Applications to the LBAC
Application form for Authorisation (including list of required documents)
See more information from CADW and Historic England here:
CADW - The Ecclesiastical Exemption
CADW - Listed Building Consent
Historic England - The Ecclesiastical Exemption
Historic England - Listed Building Consent

For enquiries and further information please contact us.


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