Now twenty five years old, the Heritage At Risk Initiative [formerly BHARNI] has been successful in marrying up restoring owners with vacant and vulnerable properties.

Set up by the Ulster Architectural Heritage in 1993, it has been funded and managed by Historic Environment Division in partnership with Ulster Architectural Heritage.

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. Funding may also be available to help with the repair of buildings through the Historic Environment Fund.

The Division also seeks to influence the conservation of buildings through its responses to planning applications and Listed Building Consent consultations from District Councils. It also works in partnership with grant aiding bodies such as the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to seek to ensure that financial support to historic buildings seeks to retain and preserve the special character of this finite resource.

Significant efforts have also been made over the last twenty five years to tackle the issue redundancy in listed buildings. The  Heritage at Risk NI (HARNI) Register highlights such structures.

Urgent Works Notices (UWN)

District Councils also have the power to take 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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