What is a listed building?

Listing building means that the building has special architectural and historic interests and is protected for future generations.

Every property built before 1700 is listed, as are most built between 1700 and 1840. So, the older the building is more likely it is to be listed.

The types of listing

Grade I: This means the property is of exceptional interest. Only around 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I listing. They are usually tourist attractions, religious places, or important historical places. For example, Buckingham Palace is a Grade I listed.

Grade II*: This means the building or property is a particularly important building but is more than just a special interest.  Around 5.8% of listed buildings are Grade II *.

Grade II: This means the property is important and considered a special interest or has a unique character. 92% of buildings are grade II so this is more commonly seen throughout building regulations.

If you think your home is listed but are unsure, the best place to start is the ‘search list’ page on the Historic England Website. This allows you to search the National Heritage List for England by postcode, keyword, or map, it’s super useful! Visit the website here.

How will that affect my renovation project?

The interior of a listed building requires only Listed Building Consent for any work can be obtained by submitting an application to the council. But if you plan on doing work on both the interior and exterior of the building, you may also need to apply for planning permission. This is actually a criminal offense if this does not go through the LBC (Listed Building Consent) or Planning Permission.

Owners of listed buildings are, in some circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain the building and if failing to do so can lead to criminal prosecution or Compulsory Purchase Order, meaning someone else can take ownership of the building or property. When alterations are permitted, or when listed buildings are repaired or maintained, the owners are often required to use specific materials or techniques to keep the character of the build.

The Do’s and Don’t of Listed Building Renovation

  1. Do – ensure your home insurance is suitable for Listed Buildings. It’s well worth finding a specialist insurance company for listed buildings.

  2. Do – make friends with your local Conservation Officer, they will be your ally and greatest friend, and will know all about other property owners in your locality who have encountered similar problems as you may.

  3. Do – before buying a listed building, ensure the correct building consent has been achieved on any works carried out by previous owners.

  4. Do – stay organised. Keep all permissions and plans after work is completed, you will need these if you sell your home in the future

  1. Don’t – combine modern repair methods with traditional methods. The property will most likely be built with Lime Mortar, for example, and using cement in older buildings can cause irreparable damage. 

  2. Don’t – remove or alter original architectural features such as doors, decorative stonework, fireplaces or windows. They are often integral to the buildings’ listed status.

  3. Don’t – paint or render stonework, clean buildings, lower or demolish chimneystacks or pots, or add new pipework, flues or alarm boxes on principal elevations of the property.

  4. Don’t – assume your garden is yours to play with. Often walls and trees will be listed too, so don’t knock-down boundary walls or remove gates.  Other buildings or structures on the  curtilage may also be protected.

  5. Don’t – rush! Consider any changes you wish to make, take advice from professionals and always speak to either the Conservation Officer, Historic England or both.

If you have any other questions or concerns, drop us a message and we will get back to you at Info@vl-architects.co.uk.

Written by Emily Hamblin Marketing Executive at V&L Architects

October 2021