When it comes to building work, historic homes need special treatment. Many old buildings cost more to upkeep and renovate than new properties and keeping a period home true to its origins requires detailed research.
What is a listing?
Listing is a process of identifying and protecting our heritage. The Secretary of State has a statutory duty to maintain a list of all our buildings of special architectural or historic interest. The lists were started in 1953, they are supervised by English Heritage.
Details about all the 450,000 listed buildings in this country are at Local Authority offices and are open to public scrutiny.
Listed buildings are divided into Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II.
Tips for alterations to listed buildings
- Informal discussion with your local planning department at the early stage of any project
- Beware - If unauthorised works have been carried out on a listed building, the local planning authority can prosecute you and serve a listed building enforcement notice, even if the works were done by a previous owner, although you do have the right of appeal
- There is no fee attached to a Listed Building Consent Application and they typically take eight weeks to process. Once granted, consent is usually valid for 5 years
- This is separate from planning permission, so this may also need to be applied for
- It's wise to employ a specialist builder for listed building work, they understand historical architecture, will renovate to a high standard and will identify potential problems - go to the Find A Builder section of this site to find one
- Building work can often cost 30-50% more than in contemporary buildings, due to the materials and skilled labour involved
- It's advisable to take out an insurance backed warranty, such as Build Assure, to provide you with peace of mind if things go wrong.
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)
The Georgian Group
The Victorian Society