Real Estate

Do you need listed building consent for internal alterations?

People with a grade II listed building often ask “Do you need listed building consent for internal alterations?” or “Is it only the outside of the building that is listed?”.

The answer is that the listing covers the interior as well as the exterior of the building. When it comes to listed buildings, there is a common misunderstanding that the building can be listed partially.

A Chartered Architect who specialises in listed building renovations will be able to offer advice about the work that you can or cannot do with a listed interior.

Listing covers the entire building regardless of the grading. It is important to now the different types of grading and their differences.

• Grade I – although a very small percentage of buildings fall into this category, Grade I buildings have impeccable architectural of interest and in most cases, they have a national importance

• Grade II* – this is given to buildings that have extra merits e.g. outstanding interior

• Grade II – most buildings fall into this category and these are buildings that have a special interest.

For a building to be listed, the Secretary of State for Culture and Media has to gather necessary information and get advice from English Heritage. With such information, the secretary will be able to determine the buildings that have special architectural or historic interests and list them.

Can additional buildings get listed?

The simple answer to this question is YES. Other buildings can be listed but they will have to go through a certain process to do it right. If you want to have a building listed, you need to visit the English Heritage website and apply. English Heritage will review your application and advice the Secretary of State on the buildings that meet the minimum requirements to be listed. If you need more information about listing buildings you should consider visiting the English Heritage website.

How can one find out if a building is listed?

If you visit the Council Listed Binding web page, you will find an interactive map that shows all listed buildings. The list is usually kept up to date to ensure that all listed buildings are included. However, if you have any doubts or you have questions that need to be addressed, you can contact a Conservation officer for help.

It is also important to understand that the name of a building can change with time. Therefore, you can use the name of the previous owner or the previous number of the building if you can’t find the building on the interactive map.

What is a list description?

A list description is the legal part of the document that contains the addresses of the building that’s listed. The list description is used to identify the listed building as well as giving the history of the building, its appearance and significance. Nowadays, list description has a brief statement that explains the architectural part of the building that makes it have historic interest.

If you want to get a list description of a certain building, you will have to contact a Conservation officer. The only thing you need to do is fill a form and you will get the description. As we have discussed earlier, you may have to check if the description matches the building you are searching for because the names and building number can change with time.

Does listing include the whole building?

Yes. The entire building is included in the listing i.e. both the inside and the outside of the building. This also includes objects and structures that might be fixed to the building e.g. clocks and internal items such as panelling because they are a part of the building when it got listed.

Curtilage refers to the area of the land that’s within the boundaries and surrounds the building. Any pre 1st July 1948 buildings or structure that are found in this area are also considered to be listed. This include boundary walls, gates, railing and garden features.

How can one make alterations to a listed building?

If you want to alter a listed building, it is not an easy process and in most cases, you should seek professional help rather than doing it yourself. This is highly recommended because listed buildings are valuable property and if alterations are not done by a professional or they are not well thought of, they can devalue the building. You can share your ideas and opinions with the professional on how you need the alterations to be made so that he or she can advise you accordingly.

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