The 1990 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act provides statutory protection for certain buildings. Listed buildings are considered to have special architectural or historic interest, and are of national importance. The statutory list is compiled by the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) with advice from Historic England. Prior to listing, Historic England consults with the owner of the building and the relevant local authority.
Further guidance on the listing process and the selection criteria can be found on the Historic England website.
Listed buildings are given grades depending on their importance:
- Grade I - exceptional interest
- Grade II* - particularly important buildings of more than special interest
- Grade II - buildings of special interest which warrant every effort being made to preserve them
Nationally, there are over 500,000 buildings on the statutory list. Of these, only 2.5% are grade I, and 5.5% are grade II*. The remaining 92% are grade II, and this is the most likely grade of listing for a house owner.
To find out if your property is listed you can contact the council directly, or search the National Heritage List.
A listed building is statutorily protected against unauthorised demolition, alteration and extension. Any works which affect the significance of a listed building are subject to Listed Building Consent (LBC). This includes works to the interior and exterior of the building. Typically, you will need to apply for LBC if you wish to:
- Demolish part or all of a listed building
- Alter or extend a listed building in a manner which would affect its special architectural or historic interest
Listed building consent, and its regulations, applies to all listed buildings regardless of their grade. It is separate to, and does not remove the need for, planning permission. In some instances, the works may require both LBC and planning permission. It is a criminal offence to carry out works to a listed building without first obtaining LBC.