Declarations - A General Guide

Form for requesting a declaration:

Request for a Section 57 Declaration(28KB)

A declaration for a Protected Structure sets out which categories of works require planning permission and which do not.  It cannot give exemptions over and above those which would normally apply if the building were not a protected structure.  Change of use of a structure will always require planning permission, for example, irrespective of whether the structure is a protected structure or not.

Protected structure status does not mean that a building or its features are ‘preserved’ and cannot ever be altered, only that such alterations may require planning permission.

What is being protected is the ‘character’ of the structure.  Certain repair or reinstatement works may be exempt if carried out to an approved standard in a way which does not alter the character.  These standards are described in outline in the Department of Environment and Local Government Conservation Guidelines.  Further guidance is available from the City Council’s Conservation Officer.


The building of any extension attached to a protected structure requires planning permission.

Depending on the individual circumstances, the following could require planning permission:

Changes to the exterior appearance

Works which materially alter the exterior appearance of the building.  These could involve the following:

Walls: repointing, refacing in an applied layer of masonry, brick, wood, plaster or paint, cleaning, damp-proofing, to any wall surface, front, sides or back

Roof: replacement of existing covering materials or rainwater goods, removal of chimneys or chimney pots, alteration of coping stones, gable or eaves parapets

Openings: replacement of windows, repair of windows, painting of stone cills, replacement of doors, replacement or alterations to fanlights, replacement of letterboxes or door ironmongery

where such work would result in a material change of character.

Changes to internal layout

Insertion of any fixed partitions, breaking out of new openings between significant rooms or spaces, insertion of new door openings, formation of ramps and the provision of universal access where such work would result in a material change to the special architectural or other interest of the structure.

Changes to the internal surfaces, finishes or linings

Replacement of internal joinery items which contribute to the special character of an interior (e.g. windows, doors, skirting boards, dado rails, panelling), replacement of integral floor coverings or structures, work materially affecting traditional or historic plasterwork ceilings including cornices.

Installation or repair of internal mechanical services

Rewiring, re-plumbing, insertion of fire detection or security systems, equipment or fixtures, fixing of panelling, removal of fireplaces.

In most cases, the following works do not require planning permission, unless stated otherwise in a particular declaration:


Painting or wallpapering

Routine maintenance

Modest repairs to keep a building weather-tight, securing of existing elements of windows (but not replacement of windows original to the structure), the clearing of gutters and downpipes, gardening activities which do not disturb the sub-soil.

If you are uncertain whether works being considered require permission, please contact the City Council's Conservation Officer, tel. 021-4924458 and 021 – 4924745.