Listing a building means:
- it has been identified as having special architectural or historic interest
- its historic significance will be taken into account by the local planning authority when considering planning applications that affect the building or its setting.
Listing a building does not usually mean that it must be preserved unchanged. Listed buildings may be extended and altered, and alterations can sometimes be beneficial. The local planning authority will make a decision that balances the site's historic significance with other issues such as its function or condition.
What do the listing grades mean?
Historic England manages the listing of buildings. They are classified into grades of relative importance.
- Grade I is used for buildings of exceptional national interest (about 2.5% of all listed buildings nationally)
- Grade II* is used for particularly important buildings of more than special interest (about 5.5% nationally)
- Grade II is used for buildings of special interest (about 92% nationally)
How do I make changes to a listed building?
You will need consent to demolish a listed building or for any alterations or extensions which would affect its character as a building of architectural or historic interest. Applying for listed building consent process is very similar to the normal planning process. You will need to fill in a listed building consent application form and provide plans. This is in addition to any other permission that may be required, such as planning permission, advertisement consent or building regulation approval.
When a building is listed it affects the whole building, both inside and out, and any later alterations to the original building that exist when it is listed.
It is a criminal offence to carry out works that require listed building consent without such a consent being obtained – even if you were not aware that the building was listed. This could lead to a substantial fine or imprisonment.