Listed buildings advice and consent

Listed buildings advice and consent

What is a listed building?

A listed building is any structure considered to be of special architectural or historic interest, and is therefore given legal protection.

Listed buildings come in 3 categories:

  • Grade I - are of exceptional interest and make up 2.5% of all listed buildings
  • Grade II* - are of more than special interest and make up 5.5% of all listed buildings
  • Grade II - are of special interest and make up 92% of listed buildings

Listing covers the whole of a building, including the interior and can also cover:

  • Other attached structures and fixtures
  • Later extensions or additions
  • Pre-1948 buildings on land attached to the listed building, for example within its garden, (in the planning system the term ‘curtilage’ is used to describe this land).

If a building is listed, there are controls over what changes can be made to a building's interior and exterior and you will need to apply for listed building consent for most types of work that affect the building's special architectural or historic interest.

It is a criminal offence to carry out unauthorised works to a listed building. Our planning enforcement team can take action to prosecute you and any other offending individuals.


Do I need listed building consent?

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.


Is your property listed?

To find out if your property is a listed building, please use our friendly District planning search map.

Pre-application advice

Find out if specific proposed alterations to your listed property, or a property in a conservation area, are likely to be acceptable, by seeking some pre-application advice before you submit your formal application.

Find out more or to apply for listed building consent, visit the Listed building consent page on the Planning Portal.


Listed building consent

When we consider an application for listed building consent, we have a legal duty to give particular attention to the desirability of preserving the building, its setting and the architectural or historic features that make it special.

We have a variety of teams that can help with listed buildings advice, from finding out what can be done to the property, to finding out if the property is in a conservation area. Please do contact us for further information.

For projects involving archaeology, advice should be sought from the Cambridgeshire County Council Historic Environment Team.

For Conservation Area Appraisals, and to find out if your property is within a Conservation Area, please see our Conservation Areas page.

To find out if your property is a listed building please use our friendly planning search map.

For more information on Listed building consent, visit the Listed building consent page on the planning portal.

A listed building is any structure considered by the Secretary of State (for Culture, Media and Sport) to be 'of special architectural or historic interest' and included in a list of such buildings.

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.

  • Development Control has lead responsibility for planning applications, including those for Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent
  • Planning Policy has lead responsibility for Local Planning Documentation
  • The Historic Environment Team sits within our Consultancy Unit.

The Historic Environment Team covers historic areas, buildings and structures, including listed buildings and conservation areas.

  • Providing advice and information to owners, agents, the public and others

  • advising Development Control on planning applications affecting historic buildings and areas

  • giving guidance on the heritage information required with applications

  • advising on housing growth and other changes which could affect historic buildings and areas

  • taking action to ensure that historic buildings are preserved

  • supporting enhancement projects and other improvements

  • managing historic guardianship sites and closed churchyards

  • producing policy and guidance such as Conservation Area Appraisals and Supplementary Planning Documents

  • recognising success through the Built Heritage Award Scheme

  • celebrating and promoting South Cambridgeshire's historic villages and buildings

Historic England works in partnership with central government departments, local authorities, voluntary bodies and the private sector to:

  • Conserve and enhance the historic environment
  • Broaden public access to the heritage
  • Increase people's understanding of the past

Historic England is particularly involved with Grade I and II* listed buildings and major schemes affecting conservation areas, and offer a pre-application advisory service for relevant buildings.

Major applications involving Grade II listed buildings may also meet the requirements for Historic England advice.

We are responsible for dealing with planning, listed building and conservation area consent applications, however, and should normally be the first point of contact.

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