Great Britain has so many beautiful listed buildings, If you live or work in a listed building, or are planning on buying or leasing one, it’s important to know the restrictions you may have to deal with. As a Lincolnshire based specialist we can explain the kind of power the authorities have when it comes to assessing listed buildings. We’will then talk you through the limitations as well as the extent of freedom that people have when renovating these properties.
What is a listed building?
A listed building is one that is historically or culturally significant in some way.
As of 2016 there were 376,470 listed buildings entries in England. Listed buildings are classified into 3 grades:
- Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest. Just 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.
- Grade II buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest. 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II.
- Grade II buildings are of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them. Over 90% of all listed buildings are in this grade
- The special interest of a candidate building is assessed with the greatest care. Government has set out the criteria for selection in Principles of Selection for Listed Buildings
Info taken from : https://historicengland.org.uk with thanks
A government panel has decided that it’s worth preserving the character, architecture, or the landscape of the property. Basically, it’s a building that has been deemed special enough to protect from demolition or change. Once a property has been Grade listed, there are rules that say it must be kept in its original state. This can be a positive thing, as you’re inhabiting or working in a part of history. On the other hand, it can be very frustrating when it comes to renovating such properties.
What are the restrictions?
It’s a common misconception that you can’t do anything to a listed building. This isn’t true. There are limitations of course, but really, these apply to all buildings. For example, council and zoning are always an issue for specialist listed building renovation companies but we are experts and know how to help you with any restrictions you nay need us to work with. However, functionality is a different story. If the buildings are going to be used, it’s only fair that they are practical, so there is some leeway in that regard.
There is a little bit of flexibility when it comes to renovating these properties. The properties must be safe and useable. Some of the older houses may need new kitchens, better bathrooms, new electrical outlets, and more modern plumbing. Similarly, commercial buildings may also need fire alarms and stairs. The first thing to do is find out what the property was listed for, and then that will help you understand the limitations. For example, if it was for the architecture, then you will have some freedom in updating the interior design. If it was for the outdoor landscape, you are just obligated to maintain that.
In most cases, extensions are allowed, but they must match the existing building. They must be built in the same style, whether that be out of stone or so on. If you are looking to add on to a listed property, just check in with your council first and find out if there are any styles you’will need to imitate.
Hopefully this page has helped you gain a better understanding of both the power and freedom involved with listed buildings. In addition, we hope it has also allowed you to see past some of the myths about these historical properties.
If you would like to discuss such a project with us please feel free to get in touch