Listed buildings

Listing a building marks it's special architectural and historic interest. It also brings it under the consideration of the planning system. This is so that some thought will be taken about its future.

The older a building is, the more likely it is to be listed.

All buildings built before 1700, which survive in anything like their original condition are listed. This also applies to most of those built between 1700 and 1840. The criteria became tighter with time. Post-1945, buildings have to be a certain level of importance to be listed. A building normally has to be over 30 years old to be eligible for listing.

Categories of listed buildings

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest They're sometimes considered to be important in other cultures. Only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.
  • Grade II* buildings are of particular importance. 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's the most likely grade of listing for a homeowner.

Find out if a building or structure is listed or read our listed buildings list.

Visit the Historic England website to find out more about listed buildings.

Listing doesn't freeze a building in time. It simply means that listed building consent must be applied for in order to make any changes to that building. This covers anything which might affect its special interest. Listed buildings can be altered, extended and sometimes even demolished within government planning guidance. We use listed building consent to make decisions. We look to balance the site's historic importance against other issues such as it's use or condition.

Factors to consider before doing work to a listed building

You'll need to apply for listed building consent to demolish, alter or extend a listed building. If it would affect it's character, a building of architectural or historic interest, it's considered.

 General maintenance doesn't require listed building consent. Although if repairs include:

  • the removal of certain features, or
  • changes to the character of the building

you may require prior consent from the council.

Care should be taken in deciding the extent of a listing. Listed building consent would be needed for any change that would affect the character of the building. This could be internal, such as fireplaces or doors. It may also be external changes, such as the colour of exterior paintwork or the replacement of windows.

Listed building consent isn't the same as planning permission. If planned works go beyond the limits, you'll still have to submit a full planning application. This will need to be submitted along with your consent forms. You must wait until you receive our decision before starting work.

It's best to seek our advice if you're in any doubt about whether you need listed building consent. You should do this before you start work to your property.