Listed Building Consent
LPOC provides professional advice and guidance on applying for listed building consent.
Listed Buildings are protected under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 which states that ‘no person shall execute or cause to be executed any works for the demolition of a listed building or for its alteration or extension in any manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest, unless the works are authorised’.
Works of demolition, alteration or extension are authorised by the local planning authority (or by the Secretary of State) by the granting of listed building consent. Making such alterations without consent is a criminal offence which, on conviction, can result in substantial fines or even a prison sentence.
The rules and regulations surrounding the changes you are able to make to listed buildings are often misunderstood, sometimes confusing and can be a little overwhelming for owners to digest. Most local authorities no longer provide the help and advice they provided to listed building owners in the past which further compounds the problem. Historic England released figures in 2017 showing that the number of conservation officers in local authorities has fallen for yet another year, falling by 36% since 2006. The continued fall in conservation officers in local authorities has meant that owners have less experts to turn to for help and advice. Due to strained resources many local authorities no longer provide conservation advice to the owners of listed buildings or they now charge for the service – this fee can be as much as £400.
This is where the Club and our team of experts can help! The Listed Property Owners’ Club offers help and advice to members on when consent is or is not required and how to go about making an application for listed building consent to achieve the best prospect of success.
We have dedicated Conservation Advisors on hand for members to access who continue to be an invaluable asset to owners by offering impartial and professional advice. To become a member and gain access to these experts please click here or call 01795 844939.
Applying for listed building consent & planning permission
Applications for listed building consent or planning permission are made to the relevant local authority. They can be made online through the national Planning Portal or in paper directly to the local planning authority. An application will normally be allocated to a planning case officer who will consult the conservation officer (and the national amenity societies in more significant cases) before making a recommendation to either permit of refuse consent.
Securing listed building consent is not always a straightforward process, but according to Historic England, almost 90% of listed building consent applications are approved. It is, however, worth noting that many proposed listed building alterations do not make it to the formal application stage and some are withdrawn prior to determination.
Where consent is refused, or where it is granted subject to conditions which are considered to be unnecessary or unreasonable, the applicant has the right of appeal to the Secretary of State.
Extensions to Listed Buildings
The local planning authority will expect any application to extend a listed building to be sensitively designed and to positively preserve the building’s special architectural or historic interest. Extensions, where acceptable in principle, are normally required to be modest in their scale, siting and materials so that they do not dominate the listed building or detract from its character. Some extensions offer a positive opportunity to enhance the listed building either by removal of less sympathetic extensions from the past or by the positive contribution that the new extension makes itself.
Some listed buildings lend themselves to being extended whereas some do not. In some situations achieving a good design with modest impact can be extremely challenging and is likely to require the skills of a good conservation architect. Pre-application discussions with the local planning authority can help to give an indication of whether proposals are likely to be worth committing time and expense to.
The LPOC Suppliers Directory includes good conservation architects.
How long does listed building consent take
Local authorities aim to make a decision on planning and listed building consent all applications within eight weeks which includes a statutory 21 day consultation period so that neighbours and other interested parties can comment on the proposal. Historic England are consulted on applications involving demolition of Grade I or II* listed buildings. A pre-application enquiry can help speed things along by identifying any potential issues early on in the planning process.
No work on a building of any listing Grade should begin until consent has been granted, and any pre-commencement conditions attached to the consent have been complied with.
If you want to discuss your listed building alteration plans with our team of specialists, or need more information on listed building consent, get in touch with us. We’ll be able to provide good advice on how best to proceed.