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Ecclesiastical Buildings: Constraints and Opportunities

  • Charles Mynors (a1)

This paper looks at the systems available for the control of works to churches, and considers the arguments for and against the ecclesiastical exemption from the secular system of listed building control. It also examines the principles underlying the exercise of the faculty jurisdiction in relation to works to churches, both those that are listed and others, and relates this to the most recent policy guidance from English Heritage.1

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1 This article is based on a paper delivered at the Ecclesiastical Law Society conference in Cardiff in January 2009.

2 Town and Country Planning Act 1990, ss 55(1), 57(1).

3 Burroughs Day v Bristol CC [1996] 1 PLR 78.

4 Town and Country Planning Act 1990, s 59(2)(a); Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, SI 1995/418, art 3.

5 Town and Country Planning Act 1990, ss 198, 211; Town and Country Planning (Trees) Regulations 1999, SI 1999/1892.

6 Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007, SI 2007/783, Reg 6, Schedule 3, Class 2C.

7 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, s 1.

8 Ibid, s 60; Ecclesiastical Exemption (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Order 1994, SI 1994/1771.

9 Re St Luke the Evangelist, Maidstone [1995] Fam 1, Ct of Arches, p 5D.

10 St Luke, Maidstone, pp 5E–6A.

11 Since the coming into force of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

12 Romans 13: 1–4.

13 The analysis here reflects the judgment in Re Great Malvern Priory, handed down by post on 24 February 2009.

14 Re Wadsley Parish Church (2001) 6 Ecc LJ 172, Sheffield Cons Ct.

15 See for example Re St Gregory, Offchurch [2000] 1 WLR 2471, Coventry Cons Ct; Re Holy Cross, Pershore [2002] Fam 1, Worcester Cons Ct; Re St Thomas Stourbridge (2001) 20 CCCC No 39, Worcester Cons Ct; Re Wadsley Parish Church; Re St Peter, Walworth (2002) 7 Ecc LJ 103, Southwark Cons Ct; Re Dorchester Abbey (2002) 7 Ecc LJ 105, Oxford Cons Ct; Re All Saints, Crondall (2002) 6 Ecc LJ 420, Guildford Cons Ct; Re St Mary, Longstock [2006] 1 WLR 259, Winchester Cons Ct; and Re St Mary, Newick (2009) 11 Ecc LJ 127, Chichester Cons Ct.

16 Peek v Trower (1881) 7 PD 21 at 22, Ct of Arches.

17 Ibid, p 27.

18 Nickalls v Briscoe [1892] P 269 at 283, Ct of Arches.

19 Under the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991 and the Faculty Jurisdiction Rules 2000.

20 Re St Luke the Evangelist, Maidstone, p 4E; list numbering added.

21 Department of the Environment Circular 8/87, para 4.

22 St Luke, Maidstone, p 8.

23 St Luke, Maidstone, p 5B.

24 As in Nickalls v Briscoe (to commemorate the daughter of the benefactor) and Re St Gregory, Offchurch (to celebrate the start of the new millennium).

25 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, s 16(2).

26 Ibid, s 66(1).

27 St Luke, Maidstone, pp 8H–9B, emphasis added.

28 Unreported, 3 March 2009.

29 (2001) 6 Ecc LJ 172, Sheffield Cons Ct, at para 24.

30 Planning Policy Guidance note PPG15, para 3.4. PPG15 is the successor to Department of the Environment Circular 8/87, noted above.

31 Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance, paras 1 and 164.

32 ‘Place’ is defined as ‘any part of the historic environment, of any scale, that has a distinctive identity perceived by people’; and ‘significant place’ as ‘a place which has heritage value’.

33 See 2 Chronicles 10: 14.

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Ecclesiastical Law Journal
  • ISSN: 0956-618X
  • EISSN: 1751-8539
  • URL: /core/journals/ecclesiastical-law-journal
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