Listed buildings are buildings and structures of special architectural and historic interest. They make up around 2% of the country’s building stock and are deemed worthy of national protection. Therefore separate planning legislation exists in order that the significance and what makes the structures special can be understood and is not comprised or eroded where a change is proposed.

If you live in a listed building and are thinking about altering or extending the property - or indeed building within the grounds of a listed building - you need to consider whether Listed Building Consent and/or Planning Permission are required.

It is a criminal offence to alter any listed building where listed building consent was required but wasn’t obtained and there is no statutory limitation or time limit to prosecution.

It is worth bearing in mind that the whole of a listed building is protected (i.e. inside and out; old and new elements). Sometimes the statutory protection of a listed building can extend to fixtures within the property and also outbuildings or structures near to the main property, known as “curtilage structures”.

It is not always obvious whether an item of work requires prior consent, and the field can be quite subjective. However, over the years, by working closely with clients and liaising with Local Authority Conservation Officers, I have prepared and undertaken numerous successful planning and listed building consent applications and would be interested to hear about your property.

The preparation of a listed building consent involves the drawing up of various statutorily required information including drawings of the existing property and the proposed works and a report called a Design and Access Statement is also required.

Key to the Design and Access Statement is an understanding of a building’s significance; i.e. what makes it special and worthy of protection. The report therefore sets out the physical and historical context of the existing building; provides a statement of its historical significance; discusses the proposed alterations and assesses their impact on the building’s significance. It also includes discussion any wider planning issues, pertinent to the application, such as location in a conservation area, the green belt etc.

I have a real passion for historic buildings and consider it a privilege to be able to advise on and work with them. The subjectivity of conservation means that I am not able to second guess the outcome of a listed building consent application. However, I pride myself in a straight talking and pragmatic approach. As such, I will highlight to you the potential pros and cons of the potential alterations you are considering and will only recommend proceeding to the preparation of an application, where there is a reasonable chance of an approval.