Historic Buildings Council

The Historic Buildings Council covers a wide range of expertise including architecture, architectural history, planning, industrial heritage and building conservation. It operates under statutory guidance and regular meetings are held. Membership is for an initial three year term which may be extended.


The Historic Buildings Council (HBC) was established in 1974 under the provisions of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1972. This was subsequently repealed and an amended Planning (NI) Order was passed in 1991. The Council is currently constituted under Section 198 of the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. 

The council is made up of 15 members including the Chair, who possess a wide range of expertise and experience in architecture, architectural history, planning, industrial heritage, building conservation and structural engineering throughout Northern Ireland. Membership is voluntary and unremunerated. The current term began on 1 July 2020 and will run for 3 years until 30 June 2023. 

A term of appointment is for a three year period but members may be eligible for re-appointment subject to satisfactory service.

The current HMC Chair and members are listed below:

Mr Peter Tracey (Chair)
Ms Siobhan Brown
Miss Elbeth Clarke
Ms Margaret Edwards
Dr Connie Gerrow
Mr Sebastian Graham
Dr Rosaleen Hickey
Ms Sabine Kalke
Mr Kyle Leyden
Dr Dónal McAnallen
Mr Liam McKinley
Dr Wills McNeilly
Mr Graeme Moore
Mrs Carol Ramsey
Mr Conor Sandford

For further information on members see link below:


Statutory role

HBC’s functions can be summarised as follows:

  • reviewing, and reporting to DfC on the general state of preservation of listed buildings
  • advising DfC on matters relating to the preservation of buildings of special architectural or historic interest
  • advising District Councils on the designation of areas of special architectural or historic interest (Conservation Areas)

Policies and development plans

The Council is also consulted on changes to Legislation, Planning Policy and development proposals (planning applications received from local planning authorities) where those proposals involve a potential major adverse impact.


HBC currently meets every other month with an option to hold additional ad hoc meetings to consider specific policy issues and additions to the list when more timely advice is needed.

From time to time the 2 Statutory Advisory Councils to DfC i.e. HBC and Historic Monuments Council (HMC) take part in joint meetings to consider areas of mutual interest. Minutes of meetings can be requested from their Secretariat.


Membership is sought through public advertisement and appointments are made in accordance with Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments NI. The Minister for Communities is responsible for appointments to the Council. The positions are unremunerated but reasonable expenses are paid.

Sub groups

There are currently no sub groups in which members meet although this is currently under review.

On occasions a representative may be asked to sit on other sub-groups outside the Department.


Contact information for the Historic Buildings Council -  see Statutory Advisory Councils Secretariat

Historic Buildings Council (HBC) Publication Scheme and FOI

The Historic Buildings Council maintains a publication scheme which sets out information on: membership, function, spending, priorities, policies and procedure, the manner in which information is published, and whether or not a charge will be made for the information.

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