Demolishing a listed building

Conservation Areas :

You can check with your local planning authority to see if your proposed work is in a conservation area.

If you live in a conservation area, you will need planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area to do the following:

  • Demolish a building with a volume of more than 115 cubic metres. There are a few exceptions – you can get further information from your council.
  • To demolish a gate, fence, wall or railing over 1 metre high next to a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway) or public open space; or over 2 metres high elsewhere.

Even if your proposals do not include the work mentioned above you should still check if an application is required:

If your application is refused, granted with conditions or not determined within 8 weeks of it being validated by the council then you have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State.

Listed Building consent:

If you want to alter or extend a listed building in a way that affects its character or appearance as a building of special architectural or historic interest, or even demolish it, you must first apply for listed building consent from your local planning authority.

Unauthorised work is a criminal offence:

You need to be aware that carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence and individuals can be prosecuted.

A planning authority can insist that all work carried out without consent is reversed. You should therefore always talk to the local planning authority before any work is carried out to a listed building.

An owner will have trouble selling a property which has not been granted Listed Building Consent for work carried out.

Small Scale Changes:

You need listed building consent for any changes which affect the special interest of your building. These interests will be determined by the local planning authority as multiple small changes can have a big impact. Examples can be altering a historic interior exterior finish and adding a sky light.

Case Study:

 Developer Kier Homes, owner of the London Road plot, wish to clear the site in order to build a mix of semi-detached and terraced housing.

Currently listed high risk on the buildings at risk register the sandstone ashlar administration block was designed by John Carrick by 1887 – but is now in very poor condition.

The plans have already elicited complaints however with Andrew Montguire observing: “I object to this as it seems listed buildings are being demolished for no good reason other than to build houses.

“The listed buildings have been listed for a reason, not for some housing developer to decide to build houses!!!!  There’s plenty of vacant land to build on without demolishing listed buildings.”

By Ram Verma 

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