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Planning FAQs

Heritage and conservation

Do I need consent to replace the windows on a listed building?

Usually, yes. Listed building consent is normally required for replacement windows. As a rule, historic windows should be retained wherever possible using careful matching repair. The complete replacement of a window should be a last resort and is rarely necessary. You should seek advice before replacing windows as listed building consent may be required.  

Do I need consent to make internal alterations to my listed building?

Usually, yes. You need listed building consent for internal changes. Demolishing historic walls and changes to the layout can reduce the building’s character, so these should generally be retained.

Do I need consent to make add solar panels to my listed building?

Sometimes, yes. See our guidance on when planning permission is required for solar panels.

I want to install a new bathroom or kitchen in my listed building, do I need consent?

Sometimes, yes. Historic features such as old kitchen ranges may be protected and should be retained. You do not usually need consent to change modern sanitary-ware or kitchen cupboards in existing locations. The introduction of a new bathroom and internal plan form changes to accommodate it is likely to require listed building consent. Consideration should be given to the location and installation of new services to avoid affecting the appearance of the building and to minimise disruption to historic fabric.

I want to install central heating or air conditioning in my listed building, do I need consent?

Sometimes, yes. New flues and extracts will need consideration to ensure they do not detract from the building’s appearance and may require consent. Replacement boilers and central heating in existing locations is unlikely to require consent.

I want to improve the energy efficiency of my listed building, how can I do this?

Improving the energy efficiency of your building can be done sympathetically and without compromising its historic character. Getting energy efficiency measures wrong or doing them badly can result in damage to the historic building and its fabric, and potentially harm your health. It may also fail to achieve predicted energy or cost savings. You should seek advice and be aware that listed building consent may be required. See Historic England’s advice on saving energy

I want to extend my listed Building, how do I do this?

Extensions to a listed building must not dominate the character of the original building. This tends to mean that the extension should be smaller and lower than the main building and must use matching materials.

Planning permission and building control approval may be required to extend your house. In addition, listed building consent will be required if your building is listed.

I want to convert my loft in my listed building, can I do this?

Using attic space may be an option to increase accommodation in your building. Building control approval will usually be required and there may be impacts on the architectural or historic character of your building. You should seek advice before beginning any works to ensure that the proposals are sympathetic to the special interest and structure of the building. 

I want a new building in the garden of my listed building, can I do this?

There are very limited permitted development rights within the garden or curtilage (the land historically associated with the building) of a listed building and most new structures (for example garages, greenhouses, and annex buildings) will require planning permission.   

I want to alter/convert/demolish an existing building in the garden of my listed building, can I do this?

The extent of the curtilage (the land historically associated with the building) depends upon a number of factors and must be considered on a case by case basis. Within the curtilage of a listed building, outbuildings, structures, walls and other features which pre-date 1948 are usually included within the listing protection. The general rule is that they should be retained. Listed building consent is required for the demolition or alteration of curtilage listed structures in addition to any planning requirements.   

I need to find an architect or contractor to do works on my listed building - where can I find one?

Using a professional architect or surveyor with knowledge and experience of listed buildings can help you care for and manage your property appropriately. Accredited professions can be found on the following websites: 

Page last updated: 18 July 2024

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