What is the effect of listing?
When a building is listed, it is recognised as being of special architectural or historical interest or both, and its details become part of a public record. Most significantly, the building is immediately protected by law, and any changes including demolition, alterations and extensions to it must first receive listed building consent.
Even relatively minor works like painting may affect the character of a listed building and it is therefore advisable to contact our conservation team before starting any works.
All of the building inside and out is listed. There is no such thing as just a listed facade or listed interior - although many people think this is the case. The description in the official list is not intended to provide a comprehensive record of all the features of importance - but primarily to identify the building.
Anything fixed to a listed building is also listed. Any structure in the grounds which was there before 1948 (even if not fixed to the listed building) is itself listed as a curtilage structure. This includes boundary walls, gates and garden walls.
The setting of a listed building is often an important factor when new development or extensions are being considered.
Listing does not mean that a building is mothballed. What it does seek to do is ensure that any alterations respect the character of the building, and that the case for its preservation is fully taken into account when any redevelopment proposals are considered. The system of listed building consent is a flexible one - over 90% of applications result in permission being granted.
Under section 9 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 it is a criminal offence to demolish, alter or extend a listed building without consent and the penalties for this can be heavy.
It is punishable by a fine or a prison sentence and you can be required to undo harmful alterations. We will take any unauthorised works to a listed building very seriously and will pursue prosecution where appropriate.