Planning for listed buildings

30/10/17

Buildings are given listed status to mark their historical and architectural significance. This ultimately protects them from any inappropriate alterations that may detract from their special history and uniqueness. Listing is not a preservation order however. Listing is the stage of identification where these buildings are celebrated to have exceptional historical or architectural interest before any planning stage that may decide its future. A building being listed does not freeze a building in time; it means that the local authority uses this consent to make decisions that balance the sites historical significance against any issues such as its function, viability or condition. All buildings built before 1700 that our close to their original condition are listed. English heritage states that a building usually has to be over 30 years old.

When you buy one of Britain’s 450,000 listed buildings, you are not just acquiring a new home, you are buying part of Britain’s national heritage. While listed buildings can indeed be extended, altered or even demolished within Government planning guidance, each building is individually judged. When a building is listed, consent is required for all works that will alter both internal and external appearance. For example, this includes replacing doors, windows and removing internal walls or changing fireplaces.

A local authority officer will advise in extensive detail what will demand consent when attempting to reconstruct or renovate the property. Whilst getting planning permission can sometimes be incredibly difficult, up to 90% of listed building consent applications are approved by English Heritage. However, many suggested modifications including double glazing may be thrown out at the pre application stage.

Grade 2 listed applications are made to the local authority in the first instance. English Heritage will only become involved as a matter of course only with Grades 1 and 2*. Additional advice may be sought at a later stage with Grade 2, where demolition is visualised or where the local authority has asked for particular input from a specialist.

Obtaining permission for planning can take a fair amount of time. Listed building consent applications need to be accompanied by detailed drawings often carried out by and experienced architects or interior designers.

When applying for listed building consent, it is advised that you hold a consultation with local authority and have that reviewed by the statutory heritage body (for example English Heritage). Most local authorities aim to let you know the outcome within 8 to 12 weeks. If that consent is refused, you can appeal within 6 months. However carrying out works without the consent is a criminal offence and any local authority may well insist that all work should be reversed. Additionally, a property to which work has been carried out that has not been authorised will be extremely difficult to sell.

Piperhill Construction pride ourselves in being qualified and experienced to undertake all aspects of work; from new build, Listed Building restorationBasement Construction, refurbishment and luxury interior fit out, through to fully integrated services and first class designer finishes. Whether working within Design and Build or traditional contracts, our unfailing aim is to meet all of our clients and their consultants requirements and to produce the highest quality finished project.

Please contact us on 0208 166 5607 if you wish to discuss a project.