Frequently Asked Questions

What is the effect of listing?

Works to alter a listed building which, in the opinion of the district council, affects its character as a building of special architectural interest, require Listed Building Consent. 

This is required in addition to any planning permission or Building Regulations approval which may be needed. 

However, regular maintenance which does not affect the character of a listed building can be carried out without needing listed building consent. 

Consent is not normally required for repairs but, where any repairs will involve alterations which would affect the character of the listed building, then consent would be required. 

Whether repairs constitute alterations which require consent is a matter which must be determined by the district council.

The following list gives some examples of works which require Listed Building Consent.

This list is not exhaustive and you should check on the need for consent with the Conservation Officer at the District Council before starting any works to a listed building.

  • Demolition. Total or part demolition of a listed building requires Listed Building Consent.
  • Extensions regardless of size or siting, require Listed Building Consent, including porches and  conservatories.
  • Alterations or replacement windows.
  • Insertion of new windows, doors and roof lights.
  • Rendering or painting of exterior walls.
  • Repointing.
  • Replacement of natural materials with such as concrete, imitation stone, resins or plastic.
  • Removal of rendering to expose timber framing or masonry walls.
  • Change of roof materials, for example, the replacement of clay tiles with concrete tiles or thatch with tiles.
  • Fixing or removal of barge-boards and soffits, window shutters, changing or demolishing chimney stacks.      
  • Replacement of cast iron rainwater goods with plastic.
  • Installation of solar panels or satellite antennae.
  • Fixing of advertisement signs or shop front sun blinds.
  • Alteration or removal of interior features of interest such as doors, fireplace surrounds, over-mantles, staircases etc.
  • 'Gutting' a building and removal of lath & plaster ceilings and horse hair plaster, wattle & daub panels, etc
  • Removal or construction of internal walls.

Listed Building Consent may also be needed for general improvements and modernisation, such as the installation of a central heating system or electrical wiring where the installation would affect special interior features such as wall panelling, decorative plasterwork, wall paintings or carved timbers.

If at any time you are unsure whether Listed Buildings Consent is needed please contact the Conservation Officer at the Planning Services Department for advice BEFORE you carry out the work.

The fact that a building is listed does not necessarily mean that it must be preserved unaltered for all time; the main purpose of listing is to ensure that care is taken over decisions affecting its future and that any alterations respect the particular character and interest of the building.

There are, however, certain alterations which are rarely acceptable, such as the insertion of UVPC doors and windows, the removal of important historic features such as windows, doors and staircases, and the replacement of natural materials with imitation. It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and you should check with the Conservation Officer.

Should I discuss my proposals with the Conservation Officer before submitting an application for Listed Building Consent?

Advice to owners, agents and developers is an important part of the listed building application process and the Council's Conservation Officers are available to discuss your proposal before you submit your application. 

However, such advice is given without prejudice to the determination of any subsequent application, by the Council's Elected Members.

What penalties apply if I carry out work without a necessary listed building consent?

It is a criminal offence to carry out works without first obtaining Listed Building Consent, and the penalties for this can be heavy, in the form of a fine or imprisonment.  

Legal action can be taken against anybody who was responsible for the unauthorised works (i.e. the owner of the building or professional agent and contractor/s).  

In addition, the Council can also take listed building enforcement action to ensure that works are carried out to restore the building to its former state or otherwise alleviate the effect of the unauthorised works.

Further help and advice

Please email the Conservation Team