The Court of Appeal case: Save Britain’s Heritage has clarified the position regarding demolition as “development”. The position now is that demolition of buildings, which are listed, or in a conservation area or classified as a scheduled monument or that are not a dwelling house or adjoining a dwelling house are “development”. As a result permitted development regulations apply. Therefore, demolition as a stand alone project will entail an application being made to the LPA to ascertain whether prior approval is required for the method of demolition. A prudent developer when making an application to the LPA should request EIA screening to be done at the same time.

Once the application for prior approval is submitted then demolition works can only take place once confirmation had been received from the LPA that prior approval is not required, or the LPA confirm that prior approval is required and grant that approval, or the LPA do not determine or notify you regarding their determination of the application within 28 days of submission of the application for prior approval.  

The SAVE case also brought demolition of buildings within the ambit of the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations in the category of Urban Development Project in Schedule 2 (and therefore subject to the thresholds set out for that category) and so, as a result, where demolition works are likely to have a significant effect on the environment by virtue of factors such as size, nature of location then the LPA must issue an EIA screening decision. If the demolition is deemed to be EIA then PD rights are lost and express planning permission would be required.