Each and every building project has different and unique challenges, and none more so than Grade listed and historic buildings. A listed building is a property that has been given legal protection due to special architectural or historical interest, and recognised by Historic England or a similar organisation. The rules, restrictions and challenges are different for external and internal work and any changes to a listed building should be handled by specialists proficient in dealing with the complexity of this type of project.

  1. If you are demolishing part of, or extending, a listed building this could affect its character as a building of special interest. In these circumstances you need consent from the local planning authority and failure to obtain consent is a criminal offence.
  2. If the work has already been carried out and the planning authority considers it to have affected the historical interest of the property then they can enforce the restoration of the building to its former state, costing additional money and time.
  3. Maintaining or repairing a listed building? Not all work to a listed building will affect the character of it, but do not assume that sourcing and using like-for-like materials for repairs means that planning permission is not needed. For example, the original removed materials may have historical interest so the work would need to be carried out under certain conditions.
  4. Property preservation applies to the internal structure as well as the external. It’s important to protect and preserve the historic character of the building – including internal walls and features. If you’re updating or installing modern electrical systems, pipework, or appliances into an old house layout, for instance, how much does this alter the look of the property?
  5. In additional to this, are the original materials and the new compatible with fire and safety regulations?

There are many challenges and things to consider when making changes to a listed building and any changes should only be carried out by companies and individuals familiar with the rules and regulations.

Agora Architects are award-winning specialists in dealing with listed buildings, with over 15 years experience handling the above mentioned challenges and many more. Contact us at marketing@agoraarchitects.co.uk