In 1990 the first Care of Cathedrals Measure:
- Set up the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE).
- Set up a local Fabric Advisory Committee (FAC) at each cathedral.
- Set out a system of controls over certain works to a cathedral, its contents and surroundings. Work that affects their character requires formal approval from either the Commission or FAC before it can be carried out.
- Defined the cathedral precinct as the area in which those controls operate.
The 1990 Measure was later updated and all relevant cathedrals legislation has now been brought together in the Care of Cathedrals Measure (CCM) 2011. The Care of Cathedrals Rules 2006 explain how the processes required by the Measure work.
The Measure does not override the need for cathedral chapters to obtain secular Scheduled Monument Consent for works to scheduled monuments, or Listed Building Consent for works to listed buildings, within the cathedral precinct.
Planning Permission is needed for development at cathedrals in the same way as at other buildings. It is likely to be needed for extensions, or for works to the exterior of the cathedral which affect its appearance. This can include repair work.
Building Regulations approval will usually be needed for building work.
Cathedrals are not exempt from legislation covering trees, wildlife or health and safety. Nor are they exempt from the Equality Act 2010. Read more about access for people with disabilities here.