LISTED BUILDINGS EXPLAINED
Why are some buildings listed?
The main reasons are that the English Heritage consider it of
• Architectural interest
• Historic interest
• Historic association
• Group value
Anything built prior to 1770 and is anywhere near to its original state is listed. The majority of buildings built between 1700 and 1840 are listed. Anything built after 1840 may possibly be listed depending upon their quality. In special cases some new buildings may be listed if they are of outstanding quality or under threat.
Listed buildings are graded into levels. These being either I, II and II*. This grading system is of little relevance as no listed building is considered of lesser importance than others because of their grading and each building is considered on its own individual merits.
What is included in the listing?
Every part of the building is listed including the interior. In addition to the building itself it has been considered that the following also fall within the definition of the listed building:
• any structure or object fixed to the building
• any free standing object or structure which has formed part of the land since before 1 July 1948
Even if a feature (internal or external) is not included in the description, it does not mean that it is not of interest and it is still part of the listed building.
What work can I do to a listed building?
Owners of listed buildings must be aware that they are looking after an important part of the nation’s heritage. When a listed building is taken on, the owner or occupier effectively becomes its temporary guardian responsible for its welfare.
Listed building control is much more rigorous than for more conventional buildings and owners and occupiers must be willing to accept this. Consent will be required to demolish a listed building (and normally it will not be granted). However Urbane Design has recently achieved permissions to demolish certain areas of an grade 1 listed property. Consent will be required for any extension together with alteration or refurbishment which would affect its character. Regular maintenance and minor like-for-like repairs do not always need listed building consent but it always advisable to check with the Council beforehand. It is inappropriate to ‘modernise’ a listed building in the manner regularly found on other buildings.
It is a criminal offence to carry out work to a listed building without prior listed building consent, even if you did not know that the building was listed. The majority of external alterations, extensions and any changes of use require planning permission. You should be particularly careful if your property is in a conservation area. Urbane design can manage the process of getting the necessary consents before you start work, as planning enforcement action can be taken even if you have obtained Building Regulation approval. Listed building consent consent is required for all internal and external works to a listed building. Please be aware that unauthorised work to a Listed Building is a criminal offence. This could be as minor as changing a skirting g board or laying a timber floor on top of an original timber floor.
How do I apply for listed building consent?
Urbane Design will organise a meeting with the local authority to ascertain what is feasible. There are no clearly defined regulations as each building has different merits.
If you would like to discuss your project with Urbane Design please call us on 0208 966 0601.