Secular Controls
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Secular Controls

In addition to the faculty jurisdiction there are a number of other statutory controls which apply to churches. It is important to be aware of the permissions required for different types of work. Click the links below to find out more about.

Listing identifies buildings and other structures as being of special historic or architectural interest.

Most Church of England churches are listed buildings, but the Ecclesiastical Exemption obviates the need to apply for listed building consent in most circumstances.

To check if your church is listed and at what grade search The National Heritage List.

Archaeologically significant sites and monuments of national importance may be protected as scheduled monuments.

The definition of an ancient monument specifically excludes church buildings in use, and churches cannot therefore be scheduled. However, archaeological sites in churchyards, and archaeological remains under church buildings may be scheduled. Any work affecting them requires scheduled monument consent in addition to a faculty.

Planning permission is needed for development in the same way as for any other building. Permission is likely to be required for works to the exterior of churches, such as alterations affecting the external appearance of a building and extensions, of whatever size. It will also be needed for relatively minor matters, such as a new noticeboard, and for some repairs such as a new roof that affects the appearance of the building.

Building works will involve the need for building regulations approval. The parish's architect/surveyor will usually deal with this.

Where works to trees that are in a conservation area or protected by a Tree Preservation Order are considered, it may be necessary to notify or obtain permission from the local authority in addition to obtaining a faculty:

Click here for more information.

Some churchyards are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which may prohibit site-specific operations and require permission from Natural England.

Some wildlife such as bats are protected; for more detailed guidance see:

Bats Guidance