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Listed Buildings: What you need to know

Arkhi Listed Buildings Info

The Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) is the designating body of listed buildings. These are defined by the DCMS as building of ‘special architecture or historical interest’. In addition to standard buildings, structure such as bridges, milestone, walls and even telephone boxes can be listed.


Whether a building is listed, and the grade of the actual listing can be found online at Historic England’s Listings website.

Those who own or carry out work on a listed building must be especially careful not to adversely impact the integrity of the building. This means there are strict controls on both internal and external alterations to the building, as well as work on certain outbuilding, which cannot be performed without listed building consent from the local council. If work carried out without the relevant consent you may be given a substantial fine or even imprisoned. For this reason, you must always consult your local authority before carrying out work on a listed building or in a conservation area.



Listed buildings must always be kept wind and watertight, structural sound and in a reasonable state of repair. If a listed building is neglected by its owner, section 48 of the Planning (Listed Buidling & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 permits the council to serve a ‘repairs notice’ on the owner outlining the work required to rectify it. If the owner does not apply within a specified time scale, the council can compulsorily acquire the building. If a listed building is either unoccupied or partially occupied, s.54 of the 1990 act allows council to serve an ‘urgent works notice’ to carry out work on a building and look to recoup costs from the building’s owner.



If you are looking to change a historic environment, Historic England offer a range of services to support you. Historic England are a body responsible for giving advice on ancient monuments listed buildings and conservation areas in England, and they must be consulted by the council about some applications relating to these.

Some of the advice that historic England offers includes their Charter for Advisory Services which explains how they handle requests for pre- and post- application planning advice. While Historic England can offer you assistance, the local conservation officer at your local council is best placed to offer you advice on any proposal concerning a listed building o conservation area and should be your first contact.

The legislation surrounding listed building is the same no matter what grading the building received. Listed Buildings are categorised into thee grades:

  • Grade I: Grade 1 listed buildings are deemed to be of exceptional interest. Examples of Grade I listed buildings includes castles, churches and large country houses.
  • Grade II: This is the most common grade with 86% of listed building falling into this category. These buildings are deemed to be of special interest.
  • Grade II*: This is awarded to Grade II buildings with some additional merit i.e. a unique interior, that are not exceptional enough to warrant a Grade I listing.



Here at Arkhi, we have experienced professionals when it comes to listed buildings and we have ongoing listed building projects in both the residential and commercial sectors.

If you’d like to discuss your project with us, take a browse of our current schemes for inspiration and get in touch through our contact form or, alternatively, why not give us a call on 01260 540 170 or email to request more details.