What is a listed building?

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.

Classification of listed buildings

Listed buildings are classified into 3 grades:

  • Grade I (Grade 1) buildings are of exceptional interest. Just 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.
  • Grade II* (Grade 2-star) buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest. 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*.
  • Grade II (Grade 2) 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.

The purpose of a listing is to protect a building, for example from unsympathetic alteration, unjustified demolition or neglect.

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).

You may also need listed building consent for any works to separate buildings within the grounds of a listed building.

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.

Check with us before carrying out any work to a listed building, as you will need listed building consent. If you're unsure if your building is listed, check with us first.

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.

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

To find out if your property is a listed building, please use our friendly District planning search map or use Historic England’s site.

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