Listed Building FAQs
Here are some frequently asked questions we receive in relation to listed buildings, along with our answers:
Are buildings in the grounds listed too?
Buildings and structures that are attached to the listed building or built before 1948 are treated as listed.
Can I alter the inside of a Grade II Listed Building without Consent?
No matter what grade the building is, if the work affects the building's character, you will need to apply for Listed Building Consent.
Can I build what I want in the grounds of my listed building?
New developments will generally need planning permission.
Listed building consent will also be required if the development is attached to the listed building.
The impact on the character, appearance and setting of the listed building will be taken into account when deciding whether to give approval.
How do you define the curtilage of a listed building?
The curtilage of a listed building is normally considered to be the building itself, along with all the other buildings and land that makes up the property.
Buildings or structures that date after 1 July 1948, and which are unattached to the listed building, are not considered to be curtilage listed.
Typically, structures covered by curtilage listing might include:
To demolish, alter or move any such structure, you will need to apply for Listed Building Consent.
If you want to make an application, you can do this online via the national planning portal.
Is it only the outside of a building that is listed?
No. All of a building is listed - inside and out, as well as some fixtures and fittings.
My house dates back to the seventeenth century - can I can remove parts that were added later without the need for consent?
No. You will usually need consent to remove later alterations.
My house is Listed, can I do anything to it at all?
The requirement for Listed Building Consent and Planning Permission is not to prevent change, but to ensure any alterations or extensions are well thought out and preserve or enhance the special historic or architectural interest of the building.
Any application for works affecting a listed building must be accompanied by a Heritage Statement demonstrating that the significance of the building has been considered.
We recommend you get some pre-application advice before you carry out any works as it is a criminal offence to carry out any works to a listed building.
What is a listed building?
The list is maintained by Historic England and is available on-line through the National Heritage List for England.
Listed buildings are classified into 3 grades:
Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest. Just 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.
Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest. 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*.
Grade II buildings are of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them. Over 90% of all listed buildings are in this grade.
Listing is not intended to prevent change, but to ensure changes are sympathetic to the significance of the listed building and either preserve or enhance the special architectural or historic interest of the structure.
What is listed building consent and when do you need it?
You will require listed building consent to alter, demolish or replace any part of the listed building, or to extend or alter it in a manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.
Kitchen units, bathroom fittings and decor can usually be changed without any need for listed building consent, providing they are not part of the historic fabric of the listed building.
However, even fairly minor work, such as replacing an internal door might need consent. This will include where a modern door exists and you want to replace it with something more in keeping or traditional. This would usually be seen as a beneficial change, but it is nevertheless a change, and therefore the requirement for prior consent still stands.
Minor additions such as satellite dishes, flues and alarm boxes may also require prior consent.
Repairs may usually be carried out without listed building consent, providing they are done exactly like-for-like.
You would not require listed building consent to repair your windows by splicing in new timber to damaged patches, but you would need consent to replace the entire window, even if the replacement is an exact 'like-for-like' replica.
This is seen as an alteration rather than a repair.
Visit our listed buildings advice and consent page for more information.
What sort of consents do I need?
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