Works to places of worship for exempt religious denominations may require planning permission, but under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, they are exempt from listed building and conservation area consent.
Details of the exemption are set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and in the Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (England) Order 2010. Note, this order only applies to England.
The exemption applies to places of worship, their contents and curtilage, but not to residences. More detailed definitions are provided for Church of England Cathedrals.
Exempt works might include, repairs, alterations, extensions or partial demolition.
The exemption applies to recognised religious bodies that can demonstrate to the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) that they have procedures in place that provide controls over works to listed buildings and to unlisted buildings in conservation areas that are equal to normal listed building and conservation area controls. DCMS consult Historic England when considering applications.
Guidance is set out by DCMS in The Operation of the Ecclesiastical Exemption and related planning matters for places of worship in England 2010, which states that:
‘Denominational systems of control need to be open and transparent. The systems should provide similar levels of consultation and engagement with local communities, and with the statutory consultees - planning authorities, Historic England and the national amenity societies - as is required in relation to the secular control system and they must comply with the provisions of the Code of Practice’ (the Code of Practice is Annex A to the guidance).
At present, the exempt denominations in England are:
- The Baptist Union of Great Britain.
- The Church of England.
- The Methodist Church.
- The Roman Catholic Church.
- The United Reformed Church.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Chancel repair liability.
- Church Heritage Record.
- Conservation area.
- Historic England.
- Listed buildings.
- Planning permission.
- Scheduled monuments.
- Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
 External references
Featured articles and news
The IHBC has now opened its celebrated NewsBlog service to user comments, so members and users can open, join and extend the discussions around our news items.
This week's Director’s top pick for IHBC members features a call from Fenland District Council for archaeology, building investigation and community engagement.
In helping people to discover, access and safeguard their heritage, the role of conservation professionals as experts is needed more than ever, says Nigel Walter.
The BSI consulted on two Publically Available Specifications on energy efficiency measure (EEM) installation.
Second World War structures at Scapa Flow have been recognised as being of national importance by Historic Environment Scotland.
The Bill was amended during its Committee stage in the House of Commons, and a number of Government new clauses were added in relation to local plan making.
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced a national campaign to find out what heritage means to the people of Scotland as part of the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
The UK government has published several reports on retro-fit issues for historic buildings.
Qatari-backed hotel scheme for the Grade II listed building in Mayfair will include 137 bedrooms, additional restaurants, retail and events space.
A CLAD magazine feature discusses how crowdfunding can help get projects started and allow architects to be proactive.
Conservators have conclude it is one of the few places in Europe to have an almost complete medieval decorative scheme still in situ.
Community groups have been asked to nominate favourite new buildings, conservation projects and people in its annual awards (closing date 31 January 2017).
Museums Heritage says that after almost five years of restoration and refurbishment, the Grade II* Design Museum has been transformed into a modern multi-purpose space.
An independent report has been issued relating to flood protection, aiming to help with flood resilience.