Historic Buildings Council

The Historic Buildings Council covers a wide range of expertise including architecture, architectural history, planning, industrial heritage and building conservation. They operate under statutory guidance and hold regular meetings. Membership is for a three year term and the council participates in a number of sub-groups.

Overview

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 This was subsequently repealed and an amended Planning (NI) Order was passed in 1991.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 around 15 members who possess a wide range of expertise and experience in architecture, architectural history, planning, industrial heritage, building conservation and structural engineering throughout Northern Ireland. Its role is to advise the Department on the listing and delisting of buildings, listed building consent, and to keep under review, and from time to time report to the Department on, the general state of preservation of listed buildings.

HBC also offers advice to other government departments such as DAERA and DfI through DfC and to local Councils on the designation of Conservation Areas.

Reports

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, Development Plans and planning applications which include historic buildings.

Meetings

HBC normally meets on a monthly basis with additional ad hoc meetings to consider specific policy issues and additions to the list.

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

Membership is sought through public advertisement and appointments are made in accordance with the Nolan Principles and ratified by the Minister for Communities. The term of appointment is for a three year period but members may be eligible for re-appointment subject to satisfactory service.

Sub groups

HBC assigns a number of sub-groups who meet on an ad hoc basis and respond to matters referred by the department. The council participates in a number of other sub-groups and committees within HED which consider specific aspects of the built heritage. One of these is the Joint Committee for Industrial Heritage (JCIH).

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

Contact

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

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