A guide to Planning for Listed Buildings (2/2)

A guide to securing planning for listed buildings (Part 2/2): Listed building consent and Conversions.

georgian-house

Click here for Part One.

Getting Planning for Listed Buildings (continued)

Extensions

It is possible to extend a listed building, and you might be surprised to find that there are in fact permitted development rights to add an extension to a listed building. However, listed building consent will always be needed along with the regular approval, whether that is a planning for listed buildings application or a permitted development.

When getting extension planning for listed buildings, it is important that the design of the extension is made sympathetic to the original structure in its scale, detailing, and materials. Bear in mind, though, that ‘sympathetic’ can be interpreted very differently by different people, from being exactly the same as the original structure to being completely different and therefore clearly demonstrating the difference between the old and the new. Some conservation officers will want the character of the original building to be carried through to the extension, and some will want the extension to be comparatively bland so as to ensure that the character of the original building remains dominant, whereas others will want an ultra-modern extension to define one part of the building from another. A building which has a significant characterful facade facing a street will likely need to be preserved on that side, but areas out of public view, such as at the back of the property, might be suitable for extension

Alterations and Outbuildings

When it comes to planning for listed buildings, before you do anything with the interior of the building, it is best to seek advice  from a properly qualified and experienced building designer or the council’s conservation officer. This is because it is difficult to tell sometimes between what would be considered refurbishment (which can be done without listed building consent) and what would be considered alteration (which requires listed building consent). It is a criminal offence to undertake works which require consent before it has been given, so seeking advice is the best way to stay on the right side of the law.

Generally, any repair or maintenance work which is carried out using the techniques and materials used for the original structure does not need listed building consent. Replacement windows, brickwork re-pointing, replacements of internal finishes such as fireplaces and stairways, and installing modern kitchens and bathrooms can all prove problematic. The interior of unlisted buildings can be decorated and finished as you wish, but when seeking planning for listed buildings you must expect that every detail of your proposal will be scrutinised.

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