Helping you understand Welsh law

Enforcement and offences

If unauthorised works are being undertaken to a scheduled monument, Cadw may issue a temporary stop notice to require the immediate cessation of specified works for a period of 28 days. If an agreed resolution to the situation cannot be reached during that period, an enforcement notice may be used to require the reinstatement of the monument or, if that is not practical or desirable, to specify measures to alleviate the effect of the unauthorised works.

It is offence to carry out works to a scheduled monument without appropriate scheduled monument consent; to fail to comply with a condition attached to a scheduled monument consent; to use a metal detector on a scheduled monument without written consent from Cadw or otherwise damage a scheduled monument. Failure to comply with either a temporary stop notice or an enforcement notice constitutes an offence in addition to any arising from the unauthorised works.

In the event of a prosecution, a defence of ignorance of the location or status of a scheduled monument will only be available if the defendant can prove that every reasonable effort had been made to determine if a scheduled monument would be affected by the planned activities and that s/he did not know and had no reason to believe that the monument was scheduled. To provide reliable and easily accessible information on scheduled monuments and other historic assets across Wales, Cadw maintains the online resource Cof Cymru — National Historic Assets of Wales.  

In most instances, a person found guilty of one of the offences mentioned above will be liable to a fine. However, a term of imprisonment may also be imposed in cases where the defendant intended to damage or destroy a scheduled monument or acted with reckless disregard of the prospect of its damage or destruction.  

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