Listed Building Consent

If seeking to make alterations to a listed building, additional legislation applies, as Listed Buildings cannot be modified without first obtaining Listed Building Consent (LBC) through the relevant local planning authority. Most internal alterations are required to have LBC and if extending a listed property then both LBC and planning permission will need to be applied for and approved prior to commencement of works.

Carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence and owners can be prosecuted. A planning authority can also insist that all work undertaken without consent be reversed at the owner's expense. Please note that replacement windows or doors require LBC.

There are currently three types of listed status for buildings in England and Wales:

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important; only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I
  • Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest; 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*
  • Grade II buildings are nationally important and of special interest; 92% of all listed buildings are in this class and it is the most likely grade of listing for a home owner

There was formerly a non-statutory Grade III, which was abolished in 1970.

If you wish to find details of the listing relating to a property, the information can be found at http://list.english-heritage.org.uk/ by typing in the relevant details. Please note that some listing are detailed and some only a few lines, but in all cases the whole building, inside and out, and its curtilage (including outbuildings) fall within the listing.

Listed Building Consent (LBC) Applications

The information required to be submitted to the local planning authority when applying for consent relating to a Listed Building is much more in depth than with a non-listed planning application. Details of the construction, joinery details relating to replacement windows and materials for the proposals need to be submitted, along with an accurate record of what currently exists and is to be retained.

Whilst this ultimately results in a higher cost at application stage, as more information needs to be prepared and submitted, it is worth remembering that extensions and alterations to Listed Buildings are V.A.T. zero rated i.e. the V.A.T. on the work once carried out can be claimed back providing the work required LBC and that this has been obtained. So essentially extending a Listed Building can be more cost effective than extending a non-listed property!

There is no fee due to the Local Planning Authority for an LBC application.

If you or a previous owner have carried out works without consent, it is important that this is regularised as soon as this is realised. It is much better to get this sorted now than at the eleventh hour of selling your property and the prospective purchaser's solicitor asking for details of consent relating to the alterations (it has happened and sorting it out is not a 5 minute job!). Unauthorised alterations are deemed illegal and the best way to proceed is to come clean and submit a retrospective application for LBC and start an open dialogue with the Local Planning Authority. Hopefully much of the work has been carried out sympathetically, however if there are any contentious details, the Local Planning Authority does has the power to have these altered as they deem appropriate. In my experience, they are very understanding and appreciate that you are trying to sort out the problem that has arisen.

For further details on Listed Buildings guidance see the English Heritage Website, the Planning Portal or contact ArchitEXE to discuss your proposals in detail.

listed-building-1Non conservation rooflights on outbuilding, now to be replaced with conservation style rooflights listed-building-2Satellite dish on Grade 2* property, this required LBC and understandably was not given listed-building-3

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