Published alongside Monday’s Budget, the consultation seeks views on the introduction of the first listed building consent order since the such orders were introduced by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013.
Under provisions in the act, the secretary of state may grant blanket listed building consent in respect of works for the alteration or extension, but not demolition, of listed buildings of any description in England.
The consultation says the government "is proposing to make the first listed building consent order which will allow minor, routine works to the Canal & River Trust’s listed waterway structures without the need for individual listed building consent applications".
"This will remove unnecessary applications from the system while ensuring that appropriate protection for listed buildings and their settings is maintained," the consultation says.
The document says that works allowed under the order could include brickwork repointing, lock gate replacement, fencing and handrail replacement, reconstruction of lost or damaged masonry and the erection of operational signs.
It says that this work "is of a common nature and, in most cases, is unlikely to have a significant impact on the special architectural and historic interest of the listed waterway structures involved".
The consultation proposes a number of safeguards to ensure that "there remains appropriate protection for the listed buildings covered by this order".
These include that the secretary of state would have the power "to direct that specific listed buildings, or listed buildings of a certain description or in a certain area, are not covered by the order".
The consultation runs until 14 January 2019.
The Canal & River Trust took over the management of canals from British Waterways in 2012.
The Budget also included an announcement of £40 million new funding for government agency Historic England’s Heritage Action Zone initiative.
Where zones are established, Historic England aims to provide expertise and resources to make the best use of heritage to meet economic, environmental and social objectives.
According to Historic England, there are 18 such zones already in operation across the country.