The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society supports plans by the Historic Environment Unit to remove Section 85 (8) planning exemptions for listed churches and ecclesiastical buildings. We agree that the exemption is not protecting our ecclesiastical heritage and support the recommendation that it should be removed.
Our churches are often among the most treasured of heritage buildings, both for their architectural value and as a visual record of the ecclesiastical history at the centre of many local communities. Their protection and ongoing sustainable use is important.
We encourage our members and the wider public to join in responding to this consulation: