Listed buildings

A listed building is a building of 'special architectural historic interest'. The list is administered by English Heritage. The term 'building' is not limited to houses, it can also include other structures such as;

  • walls
  • gates
  • memorials
  • telephone kiosks

There are over 1700 listed buildings in the district which represent an important part of our architectural heritage.

Find out if a building is listed

Listed building consent is usually required for any works affecting the character of a listed building.

Apply for listed building consent

Why is a building listed?

The main purpose of listing is to ensure that care is taken over decisions affecting the building's future and that any alterations respect the particular character and special interest of the building. Buildings are listed for a variety of reasons and are assessed by English Heritage on behalf of the Secretary of State. The choice of buildings to be included on the list depends on many factors and may include:

  • architectural interest - the list includes all buildings which are of interest to the nation for their architectural design, decoration and craftsmanship. Important examples of particular building types and techniques and significant plan forms are also included.
  • historic interest - includes buildings which illustrate important aspects of the nation's social, cultural or military history.
  • close historical associations - with nationally important people or events.
  • group value - especially where buildings together comprise an important architectural or historical unity.

What does the listing include?

When a building is listed it is listed in its entirety and includes any object or structure fixed to the building and most free standing objects within the curtilage of the building.

The curtilage of a building is the area of land attached to the building, or formerly attached to the building. This may include a yard, garden or courtyard.

A description of the building will be given with all list entries. This is not a comprehensive or exclusive record of all features of importance but is a description to aid in the identification of a building.

The amount of information given in a list description will vary but the absence of a reference to a particular object, structure or feature does not indicate that it is not of interest or that it can be removed or altered without consent.

What do the different grades of listing mean?

There are three separate grades which indicate the relative importance of listed buildings:

  • I - buildings of exceptional interest and quality
  • II* - buildings of particular importance and perhaps containing outstanding features
  • II - buildings of special interest which warrant every effort being made to preserve them

Grade I and II* listed buildings are a small proportion (about 6% nationally) of all listed buildings. They are particularly important to the nation’s built heritage as buildings of outstanding architectural or historic interest, their significance is beyond dispute. A grading can however be changed, either when there is a re-evaluation of a building due to damage or alteration, or as more evidence of a building’s history or architectural quality comes to light. The statutory controls on alterations apply equally to all listed buildings whatever the grade.

Works to listed buildings

It is necessary to obtain listed building consent for works which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

Even relatively minor works, internal or external are likely to need consent and you are therefore advised to contact the us before carrying out any works to a listed building.

Demolition

The removal of any part of the listed building (including chimneys) and some objects and structures within the curtilage of the listed building will require listed building consent.

Extensions

All forms of extensions including porches, dormer windows and conservatories will require listed building consent. Any extensions must be of appropriate scale and design constructed with suitable materials and with careful attention paid to detail.

External alterations

External works, which include decorative alterations, will require listed building consent. These include

  • New, replacement or double glazed windows
  • New or replacement doors
  • New rendering, painting or cladding or the removal of existing
  • New roofing materials
  • The insertion of roof lights
  • Large areas of repointing

Internal Alterations

Many interior alterations will also require listed building consent, such as the removal of and alteration to all features of historic value and may include:

  • Staircases
  • Internal Walls
  • Wall panelling and window shutters
  • Fireplaces
  • Doors
  • Plasterwork and woodwork mouldings

Minor works

Some minor additions will require listed building consent when they affect the character of a listed building. These include:

  • Satellite dishes
  • External lighting
  • Shutters
  • Door furniture
  • Alarm Boxes
  • Nameplates
  • Infra red detectors
  • Signs and advertisements
  • External meter boxes
  • Central heating and other flues

Other related permissions

Many proposals for works to a listed building may also require an application to be made for planning permission and also building regulations. We will be happy to advise on the relevant requirements.

Prevention of deterioration

It is important that listed buildings are kept in a good state of repair to prevent the irretrievable loss of features and details.

We have powers to take action against owners whose property is in disrepair. This is done through the serving of a Repairs Notice specifying the work necessary for the proper preservation of the building.

We may also execute any urgent works for the preservation of the listed building and recover any expenses incurred from the owner. In extreme cases the we may compulsorily purchase a property where an owner has failed to comply with the requirements of a Repairs Notice.

Where an owner has deliberately allowed a building to become derelict so that demolition and redevelopment of the site is justified, the we may only have to provide minimum compensation in relation to compulsory purchase.

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