All listed place of worship have to consult English Heritage, the local planning authority and the relevant national amenity societies (see below) about works that would otherwise require listed building consent.
The proposals also have to be advertised locally by way of a site notice and, where external works are proposed, an advertisement in a local paper. Your denomination can advise you on all of this.
Quakers/Society of Friends
The Advisory Committee on Property (ACP), a sub-committee of the Quaker Finance & Property Central Committee, acts as the central advisory body to Area Meetings and other owning bodies relating to meeting houses and other property used for the purposes of the Society (including burial grounds and trust property). It is charged with gathering together the knowledge and experience of Friends in relation to their ownership and use of property and to ease the task of keeping such property in good order so it may be used as an asset to further the life and work of the Society in Britain.
The ACP will advise on property matters relating to redundancy, demolition, sale, lease, purchase, alteration, extension, historic buildings, repair maintenance of existing buildings and new building. Advice can be given on matters relating to any proposed development which could affect the setting of a meeting house or other building. Additionally assistance can be given to obtain the full value of property leased or sold, for the benefit of future generations. The ultimate decision on any of these matters will rest with the owning body. You can find out more here
To download the Handbook on the Care of Meeting Houses, as well guidance documents on development of new development projects, a Quinnquennial Inspection checklist and new legislation go to http://www.quaker.org.uk/property-matters
The Congregational Federation brings together 294 churches across the UK. The Congregational Federation Ltd was formed for the purpose of acting as Trustee for Federation churches and for the assets of the Congregational Federation. They are able to give legal and building advice to those Congregational churches which are members of the Federation.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches (EFCC)
EFCC is a fellowship of about 125 independent churches in the United Kingdom. Congregationalism, following the teachings of the New Testament, believes that each local church is completely autonomous, under the headship of Jesus Christ, and has within itself all that it needs for the health and well being of the church. Congregationalism thus has no denominational hierarchy above the local church. EFCC does not exist to provide any such hierarchy, but to provide like-minded churches with a means of mutual encouragement and support. The website is http://www.efcc.karoo.net/
The Buildings Advisory Panel will offer clear guidance and practical support on developing financing and maintaining congregational buildings and land. It reports to the Denominational Support Commission. http://www.unitarian.org.uk/support/buildingsupport.shtml
The Salvation Army
All information and guidance about how to look after your buildings, fund-raising and community outreach can be found on your internal website.
The National Amenity Societies have a wide experience in advising local planning authorities on proposals affecting historic buildings of all types, which has included regular consultation by them concerning applications for planning permission to extend listed churches. The Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical jurisdiction Measure 1991 formally recognised the significance of the National Amenity Societies’ contribution and established a framework for regular consultation on faculty applications concerning the fabric of historic churches, which parallels secular arrangements.
The societies have extensive experience of advising on alterations to historic churches. They have a nationwide network of contacts and although their resources are limited, the societies are willing to provide informal advice to parishes and congregations about proposals affecting historic churches. They may also be able to suggest suitable craftsmen, architects, surveyors or structural engineers for specialist work
For more information on the Statutory Amenity Societies go to: http://www.churchcare.co.uk/about-us/who-s-who/church-heritage-bodies/amenity-societies.
and the links to the individual societies are as follows:-
· Ancient Monuments Society www.ancientmonumentsscoiety.org.uk
· Council for British Archaeology www.britarch.ac.uk
· Georgian Group www.georgiangroup.org.uk
· Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings www.spab.org.uk
· Twentieth Century Society www.c20society.org.uk
· Victorian Society www.victoriansociety.org.uk
Secular Statutory Controls
There are also other secular controls that are applicable. You can get further information on the secular controls applicable to churches and their immediate surroundings including below ground, their furnishings, fittings and churchyard from national building advisers and local planning authority.
There is also a useful section on Churchcare at http://www.churchcare.co.uk/churches/guidance-advice/making-changes-to-your-building/faculty-jurisdiction/secular-statutory-controls.