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Listed buildings

Listed buildings are included on a national list published by Historic England in recognition of their special architectural or historic interest and to safeguard them from unsympathetic alteration and demolition. The buildings are selected according to criteria laid down by the government.

A wide variety of buildings and structures is listed; for example: houses, barns, bridges, statues and walls.

A building is listed inside as well as out and listing applies to all elevations. Listed building consent is required for any alterations that might affect the special character of the building, including changes to internal fixtures; for example, fireplaces and door cases. Listing also applies to structures attached to the building or within its curtilage if built before 1948. The curtilage includes the garden ground, boundary wall and outbuildings, and may include areas beyond the site that were once part of it. 

The owner of a listed building has a special responsibility to maintain it in a sound state of repair and to respect its special character.

Listed building consent is required for any works that affect the special architectural or historic interest of the building. In this instance, ‘building’ can include any structure within the curtilage of the site built before 1948. Listed building consent may be required for proposed alterations to either the interior or exterior of the building. This consent must be obtained before works are carried out and any schedule of works should allow time for the application to be processed.

Generally you will require listed building consent if you are proposing to:

  • Alter the external appearance of the property
  • Alter the building, either internally or externally
  • Demolish any part of the building, including interior partitions
  • Extend the building

Examples of the type of work that require consent include:

  • Replacement or alteration of windows, doors or roof lights
  • Painting or rendering of previously bare surfaces
  • Addition of any type of cladding
  • Attachment of objects to the building, such as satellite TV dishes, meter boxes, burglar alarm boxes, external lights
  • Replacements or alteration of gates or boundary walls
  • Replacement or roof covering, alterations to other buildings on the property
  • Non-standard repairs

The above list is by no means exhaustive and advice should be sought before carrying out any work. We ask that all requests for advice be submitted in writing with as much information about the proposed works as possible, including plans and or photographs.

Some of these works may also require an application for planning permission.

Listed status is a local land charge and you should be notified as part of the searches when a property is purchased.

If the property is listed after you have purchased it you will be notified.

The Council maintains a list of listed buildings within the district, which can be viewed online.

A further useful link is the Images of England website, which is a searchable digital photograph library of listed buildings.

Any requests to get a building listed must be sent directly to Historic England, who are the deciding body - the decision is not made by the local planning authority. Similarly, any applications to de-list a building must also be made to Historic England.

The owner of a listed building has a special responsibility to maintain it in a sound state of repair. As a general rule it is always preferable to repair, rather than replace, original features. Most listed and historic buildings were built of a construction and design that is very different from modern buildings. It is, therefore, very important that traditional repairs be carried out.

Where a repair is carried out on a strictly like for like basis then listed building consent is not required; for example, decayed pointing must be matched with new mortar of a similar colour, mix and finish to the historic. Where a new repair technique is considered then listed building consent may be required.

A condition survey is carried out periodically on all listed buildings and the results collated in the heritage at risk database.