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Home > Listed Buildings
A listed building in the United Kingdom is a building or other structure officially designated as being of special architectural, historical or cultural significance. It is a widely used status, applied to around half a million buildings.
A listed building may not be demolished, extended or altered without special permission from the local planning authority (who typically has to consult the relevant central government agency, particularly for significant alterations to the more notable listed buildings).
Grade I: buildings of outstanding architectural or historic interest.
Grade II*: particularly significant building of more than local interest.
Grade II: buildings of special architectural or historic interest.
Grade III: buildings of historical value, a non-statutory and now obsolete grade.
Grade III buildings were those which, whilst not qualifying for the statutory list, were considered nevertheless to be of some importance. Many of these buildings are now considered to be of special interest by current standards - particularly where they possess "group value" and are being added to the statutory lists as these are revised. Often found in conservation areas.
Owners of listed buildings are, in some circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain them and can face criminal prosecution if they fail to do.
Owners of listed buildings can be prosecuted for carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building, as it is a criminal offence to do so. Before that stage is reached, a planning authority can insist that all work undertaken without consent is reversed.
If you wish to demolish a listed building, alter, extend or make changes to the façade of the property and its land in anyway that affects its character as a building of special interest, you must first apply for listed building consent from your local planning authority. Each and every application for listed building consent is treated individually on an indevidual case basis. Therefore what may be approved for one property may not be approved for another.
Each building is different and so there are no sweeping rules for what you can or can't do without consent. Most buildings are very flexible but consent is needed for anything that might risk taking away what makes that building special. Listed status covers a whole building, inside and out. Repairs that match exactly may not need consent, but examples of work which may do include changing/ replacement windows and doors, knocking down internal walls, painting over brickwork or altering fireplaces.
The owner of a listed building has to apply to their local authority for Listed Building Consent. The first step should be to ask the authority's Conservation Officer if your proposals are likely to be accepted before making a formal application, saving you the time and money of an unsuccessful application. Your local authority will give you the appropriate form for making your application.
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