English Heritage maintain a list of buildings, monuments and other such structures. This list is generated by the Secretary of State (for Culture, Media and Sport). The listing is to offer additional protection of historically important or interesting buildings and structures. It is there as a register of all the buildings that we as a nation hold in regard and should be given special protection from adaptation or demolition.
Buildings and monuments can be submitted for consideration to be added to (or removed from) the list with supporting reasons. The designation regime is set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
A listed building is regarded as special or of significant importance and there are less than 400,000 in England. Each is given a grading, Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II in order of importance. Grades I and II* are of exceptional interest with Grade I accounting for only 2.5% and grade II* for 5.5% of all buildings on the list.
The important thing to remember if you are planning work is the significance of any unauthorised alterations. Due to the importance to the country’s heritage and assets, altering or amending a Listed Building or monument without prior permission is a criminal offense and can be penalized by up to two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
All structures and outbuildings within (or forming) the boundary of a listed property are deemed to fall under the main listing as part of it’s setting. So for example, a stable/outbuildings and stone walling within the garden of a listed Georgian villa are all listed also and carry the same criminal offense if unauthorized works are carried out.
The correct procedure is to apply for Listed Building-Planning consent, with existing and proposed architectural drawings, details, specifications etc. Once a consent is secured, then the works can begin. Most consents will come with conditions that must be adhered to and non-compliance with any condition carries the same penalties.
This is not to say that lawful works or alterations cannot be approved to a Listed Building, and many of our projects indicate this. It also does not mean that modern interventions will be automatically refused. We have been successful in designing both traditional alterations or restoration work as well as modern extensions and adaptations to Listed Buildings, all with prior consent.
Some images below show some of our work with Listed Buildings, a mixture of conservation and modern adaptations, you can browse our website for other similar work. Further in-depth information on Listed Buildings is available on the English Heritage website, including an excellent searchable map of all the listings.