Living in a Listed Building

A ‘listed building’ is a building, object or structure that has been judged to be of national importance in terms of architectural or historic interest and included on a special register, called the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.

When a building is listed, it is listed in its entirety, which means that both the exterior and the interior are protected. In addition, any object or structure fixed to the building, and any object or structure within the curtilage of the building, which although not fixed to the building, forms part of the land and has done so since before 1 July 1948, are treated as part of the listed building.

Works to listed buildings are governed by listed building controls. The controls apply to any works for the demolition of a listed building, or for its alteration or extension, which is likely to affect its character as a building of special architectural or historical interest.

This special form of control is intended to prevent the unrestricted demolition, alteration or extension of a listed building without the express consent of the local planning authority or the Secretary of State.

Section 7 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (LBCA Act) provides that, subject to certain provisions of the Act, no person shall execute or cause to be executed any works for the demolition of a listed building or for its alteration or extension in any manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest, unless the works are authorised. (Section 9 of the 1990 Act provides that if a person contravenes Section 7 he/she shall be guilty of an offence). It is a criminal offence to carry out work which needs listed building consent without obtaining it beforehand.

Alterations, improvements or items that are beyond repair will require an application for Listed Building Consent. ‘Like for like’ repairs and maintenance do not generally require Listed Building Consent but it is always advisable to take the advice of the Conservation Officer at your local authority to get a better idea about what it means for you.

Common works requiring consent might include the replacement of windows or doors, knocking down internal walls, painting over brickwork or altering fireplaces.

To find out if a property is listed, the National Heritage List for England can be searched by postcode using the map search. This shows whether a building is listed and at what grade.

If in any doubt it is advisable to contact your local authority or the National Heritage List for England Helpdesk: heritagelistenquiries@HistoricEngland.org.uk.

Further information: https://www.historicengland.org.uk/advice/your-home/

More information about historic buildings and their conservation can be found on the following websites

Jeremy Richardson – AssocRICS, MRPSA, DRSV, CPEA, BA Hons – BCR Surveyors

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Courses & Awards

  • BA (Hons) History & Landscape Archaeology
  • Understanding Building Conservation – endorsed by English Heritage
  • Project Management and Supervision: Historic and Traditional Buildings
  • Energy Efficiency Measures for Older and Traditional Buildings
  • Repair and Maintenance of Traditional (pre-1919) Buildings
  • Understanding Heritage Impact Assessments
  • Diploma in Residential Surveying & Valuation

Memberships

  • Member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings
  • Affiliate Member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation
  • Associate Member of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (AssocRICS)
  • Member of the Residential Property Surveyors Association
  • Member of the Weald and Downland Museum
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