Nominating a Building for Listing in Northern Ireland

Almost any man-made structure can be Listed. The List currently includes not just buildings, but fountains, memorials, town stocks and phone boxes.

Listing covers the complete interior and exterior of the building and can also extend to fixtures and free standing objects within its curtilage.

If the building is not already listed on the NI Buildings Database, you can contact the Department’s Historic Environment Division at any time to nominate a building or other structure for Listing. Your request will generate a ‘listing query’ and one of our architects will make arrangements to visit if appropriate. This initial assessment will decide if there is sufficient cause to commission further, more detailed research.

When considering buildings and structures for listing, or de-listing, the Department’s Historic Buildings Designation Branch will assess the architectural and historic interest against the criteria set out in the Criteria for the Scheduling of Historic Monuments and the Listing of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

Making a Listing Query

The Department’s initial evaluation of any nomination for Listing is based on the information we are provided. Our initial assessment will decide if the building has the potential to meet the test for Listing or not and if the Department should undertake further investigation, such as a site visit.

We prioritise our listing activity on a holistic area based survey called The Second Survey, and other work is prioritised based upon a risk assessment. For this reason it is important that you provide us with as much information as possible on the structure you are proposing for Listing and in particular, any threats it may face. You should submit information such as maps, photos and plans in support of your nomination if you have them.

Requests for de-listing require the same level of information, including a statement which explains why the building may no longer meet the statutory requirements for Listing.

You can identify the building, and its address, by looking it up on the Historic Environment Map Viewer.

When submitting your query, we require the following information to make an assessment;

  • Your name and contact details.
  • The address or location of the structure you are nominating for Listing. Where an address is not possible, please provide detailed information so we can clearly identify the building or structure you are proposing.
  • A map, with the building or structure clearly marked.
  • Details of ownership, including contact details (if different to yours). This is essential if we decide to look at the building in detail and need to make arrangements to visit.
  • Photographs. Please be aware that if you do not provide up-to-date photographs, including both exterior and interior views where applicable, it is unlikely that we will be able to progress the application.

You should also;

  • List the reasons why you believe this building is, or is not, of ‘special architectural or historic interest’ and should be assessed for listing or de-listing.
  • Provide documentary evidence to support your application, such as historic maps and (where applicable) a list of the books, websites etc. you have used in completing your research
  • Detail if the building or structure is under serious threat of demolition or major alteration. If so, please also contact your local Council, who may wish to consider spot listing, should the building meet the tests as determined by the local Council area in which the building is situated.

You can send your application to us at;

Depending on our resources and priorities, we may decide that the building will not be investigated immediately, but will be looked at when all the historic buildings in the area are being re-surveyed. This area re-survey (known as the Second Survey) is ongoing.

Due to the volume of queries we receive, please allow a minimum of 3 weeks for a determination of whether we will be taking the building forward for survey and evaluation or not.

Building Preservation Notices (BPN)

District Councils have the power to take immediate action to protect an unlisted building as if it was listed for six months.

A Council can issue a Building Preservation Notice (BPN) if it believes that;

  • it is of special architectural or historic interest; and
  • it is in danger of demolition or of alteration in such a way as to affect its character as a building of such interest

The Department has published a good practice guide, aimed to assist Councils achieve a consistent approach when considering serving a Building Preservation Notice (BPN) on an unlisted building;


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