The Historic Environment Division seeks to promote the conservation of historic buildings through a range of measures.

Technical Advice is provided through a network of area conservation architects who are happy to visit and discuss general issues with owners. This is supported by a number of technical publications which can be downloaded from this website.

Grants may also be available to help with the repair of buildings.

The Division also seeks to influence the conservation of buildings through its response to Planning and Listed Building Consent consultations from District Councils. It also works in partnership with grant aiding bodies such as the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the Department of Social Development to ensure that work they support to historic buildings seeks to conserve their character.

Significant efforts have also been made over the last ten years to tackle the issue redundancy for listed buildings. The Built Heritage at Risk NI (BHARNI) Register highlights such structures. An associated project with the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society has sought to highlight the issue, work with owners to establish solutions to the issues they face and ensure that they are aware of potential means of support. 

Urgent Works Notices (UWN)

District Councils also have the power to take action action to protect unoccupied listed buildings, or the unused part of occupied listed buildings, that have deteriorated to the extent that their preservation may be at risk:

The Department has issued Guidance for Councils on Urgent Works Notices.

Before applying this power, the Department recommends that councils first enter into a process of discussion with an owner, in an attempt to agree a schedule of work, before resorting to legal action.

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