4 minutes

Steps to Success: Understanding Listed Building Consent

By now, you likely have an awareness of some of the challenges that you may be faced with when applying for listed building consent. Fortunately, with the right approach, and expert advice, you can overcome the challenges that could stand in your path.

At Christopher David Design, we have assisted many clients with their listed building designs – and successfully so, at that! We understand the intricacies and complexities that these special architectural structures pose to developers, making it possible to alter, extend, and changing the use of a listed building.

In this guide, we take a look at the steps to success for being granted listed building consent and what it all means.

What Is Listed Building Consent?

We will begin with the basics; what is listed building consent? Many of our other blogs have delved into this topic as it is such a vast topic that we regularly receive queries about. To put things into layman’s terms, listed building consent is consent that your local planning authority grants for you to make proposed changes to a building that is listed.

Your local planning authority uses listed building consents to make decisions about a site’s historic significance and preservation. If they deem a proposed project to be unsustainable or damaging to the building’s historic interest or character, you will not be able to go ahead.

Below is a list of the types of development that require listed building consent:

Extensions – this includes conservatories, porches, and dormer windows

Fixtures – this includes shutters, burglar alarms, meter boxes, soil and ventilation pipes, gutters, rainwater pipes, and satellite dishes.

Repairs – this includes broken window frames and doors.

Internal alterations – this includes the subdivision of rooms, removal of any walls, wall insertion, removal of historic features, and alterations to any historical features including doors, fireplaces, panelling, staircases, and decorative elements.

External alterations – this includes cladding, painting, and rendering

Demolition – this includes demolition of any part of the listed building such as chimneys and curtilage.

Alterations to curtilage – this includes the curtilage grounds such as outbuildings, garden walls, and statues.

Why Do Listed Building Owners Need Consent?

Listed building owners require consent because in England, listed buildings are considered to be of special architectural or historic interest. By listing a building, it can be better preserved for future generations. Listed building consent aids with the following:

Prevention of unsuitable alterations to the building which alter its special character, architectural features, or historical significance.

Expert assessment who evaluate the state of old buildings and whether proposed works will impact original fabric.

Maintainance of heritage value by ensuring alterations are respectful of authenticity and cultural importance.

Public interest and appeasing the public who should have a say in decisions affecting public heritage.

Unauthorised Work Is a Criminal Offence

You should never carry out any work to a listed building without listed building consent. This is an offence under Section 9 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. As a criminal offence, you could be liable for a fine of up to £20,000 and in some serious cases, imprisonment.

If Listed Building Consent Is Refused

Your local planning authority does not have an obligation to grant you with listed building consent. They can deny consent in any cases where they believe that the listed building will be irrevocably damaged or for example, if you have not justified alterations in your application.

Therefore, to avoid being denied listed building consent, we recommend working with professionals to help you apply for listed building consent. Architectural designers, Conservation Officers, Heritage Specialists, and other types of professionals with experience will be able to shed light on the various factors at play when trying to obtain planning permission.

In cases where local planning authorities deny your application, there are steps that you can take:

Review the decision – Begin by reviewing the decision carefully. You should get clear as to why your planning permission application was refused and the specific reasons behind the decision.

Seek professional advice – Next, seek professional advice from a Heritage Consultant, Architectural designer, or planning professional who specialises in historic buildings. They can provide valuable insights and suggest potential modifications to your proposal that may increase the chances of approval.

Modify and resubmit your application – Just because you have been refused listed building consent, does not mean you cannot resubmit your application. Based on any of the feedback you have received, make changes to your proposal before you try again.

Mediation – In certain scenarios, mediation could be an option. This involves the help of a third party who facilitates a discussion between parties to resolve.

Appeal the decision – Finally, if you find the decision to be unjustified, you can appeal. This varies by jurisdiction so you will be required to follow procedures set out by the authority.

Steps Towards a Successful Listed Building Project

Obtaining listed building consent is just one step required to successfully execute a listed building project. There are many other factors to also consider, at least not the Architectural designer that you choose to collaborate with.

Christopher David Design understands the nuances of applying for listed building consent and we can assist with your listed development proposal. We have vast experience in working with clients to help them to achieve their listed building vision. Whether you wish to extend your grade II listed building or need advice as to how to preserve the special architectural or historic interest of a home, we are here.

Contact our professional team of Architectural Designers to discuss your listed building project.

More From The Journal

10 Steps to Success: Hiring an Architectural or Interior Designer
The Planning Application Process: Explained
Planning approval and building approval: What’s the difference?