Buildings that are of historical or architectural significance can be ‘Listed’ and become protected under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. There are three grades of listing that can be applied to a building – Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II. There are over 500,000 Listed buildings in England, the vast majority of which are classed as Grade II Listed – meaning they are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.
Before undertaking any work on a Listed building, you will need to seek consent, as making changes to a Listed property without the appropriate consent is a criminal offence.
The application process for obtaining Listed Building Consent can be lengthy and depending on the work proposed, can require submitting detailed drawings. Seeking advice from a Chartered Building Surveyor that has previous experience of handing Listed Building Consent applications can be very useful, particularly for more complex works, as you can be certain that the submitted drawings are accurate and that all the relevant information is included in the application. Chartered Surveyors that have worked with Listed buildings before will also be able to advise on the type of work that is likely to be allowed, including the type of materials to use, reducing the likelihood of your application being rejected and the requirement for appeal or revision and re-submission.
Applications for consent for works to Listed building should be submitted to the Local Planning Authority at the Council, whose Conservation Officer will consider the special features of the property alongside the proposed works. The normal timescale for receiving a decision is around 8 weeks, however, where significant changes are proposed and the council deem it necessary to seek advice from English Heritage, the process can take longer.
The rules around properties in Conservation Areas are less stringent than those around Listed buildings, and generally only cover external changes to a property. If you own or lease a property in a Conservation Area, you will need to give the local Council appropriate notice of any work you plan to undertake – including work within the property’s garden or grounds (trees are covered under Conservation Area rules).
Lea Hough Chartered Surveyors has extensive experience of working with Listed properties and our team have a great deal of knowledge when it comes to navigating the complex process of obtaining Listed Buildings Consent. It is always advisable to speak to us at an early stage when considering work to a listed building, but we can also be instructed at a later stage, particularly if you are struggling to obtain consent.
To speak to a member of our team with specialist knowledge of Listed Building Consent applications, please contact us.