Listed Buildings - Nova News Editorial December 2016

The Town and Country Planning Act of 1947 brought about the concept of buildings being listed. The introduction was triggered as a result of a significant number of historic and buildings being damaged by German bombing of London and other UK cities during World War 2. The government considered that it was important to protect such property and prevent the widespread demolition or alteration of damaged property.

A listed building is considered to be a building, object or structure of significant national historic or architectural importance. There are three categories of listing depending on the level of importance Grade 1 Grade 2* and Grade 2. These account for approximately two percent of the UK building stock. 92% of buildings lie within the Grade 2 listed category and therefore is the most likely for a property owner to find their home included within. Grade 1 buildings are often of international importance and covers around 2.5% of the listed stock.

Buildings constructed prior to 1840 will generally be listed. In fact any structure erected, prior to July 1948, within the land surrounding a subject property, will also be included within the listing. The grade of listing will have a bearing on how you are able to maintain, alter and extend your property. If you own such a property and wish to carry out alterations to the building it will more than likely be necessary to obtain Listed Building Consent prior to undertaking any work which will materially alter the property.
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 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.”
If you are considering buying an older property it may be worth checking the Historic England website to ascertain whether or not a property is on the list. Surprising or not some owners of property may not be aware that their home is listed. If you wish to make any alteration to your listed building the general advice would be to speak to the planning department at your local authority. If the condition of the property deteriorates you may even be compelled to maintain or repair the building. If directed to do so, failure to undertake the necessary action, or indeed undertake unlawful alterations; the owner could face criminal prosecution.

I hope that you all have a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas.

Andrew Mason FNAEA.
Call me on 07507 928008. You can also follow me on twitter @Andyvalues1551.

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