MYTH 1 : LISTED BUILDING CONSENT FOR ALTERATIONS TO A LISTED BUILDING IS ONLY NEEDED FOR EXTERNAL CHANGES
This is perhaps the most common urban myth surrounding listed buildings, as Listed Building Consent be required for any alterations – internal or external – whether the elements of the proposals are mentioned in the listing or not, irrespective of the grade. This also applies to alterations undertaken after the building was listed, although straightforward changes here are more likely to be acceptable.
The listing process was introduced in the Town and Country Planning Act of 1947, so has now been in place for 70 years. The principles for selection can be found from . There are three grades of listings in England and Wales (Northern Ireland has more, with sub-divisions):
Grade I (Grade A in Scotland) are those with ‘exceptional interest’.
Grade II* (Grade B in Scotland) are those that are ‘particularly important … and of more than special interest’.
Grade II (Grade C in Scotland) are those with ‘special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them’.
These are known as categories rather than Grades in Scotland - although they roughly match. Category A is roughly equivalent to Grade 1 and the top end of II*, Category B is the bulk of our II* and the top end of Grade II and Category C is similar to Grade II.
Grade II buildings/structures are therefore most common and account for around 92% of the stock of listed buildings within the UK. Consent decisions will be based on significance on a case-by-case basis.
Any changes that could affect the character of the building or structure will need consent, although minor repairs will not require an application.
The definition of a ‘repair’ is, however, a grey area, so early consultation with your Conservation Officer/Local Authority is always recommended.
Full lists of all listed buildings can be found from the Monuments and Building Records – .