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Planning and listed building consent requirements

Listed buildings

Once a building is listed, special planning controls apply and you need listed building consent for works that affect it. These works may extend from the smallest project to wholesale demolition. Consent has to be obtained for any alterations or demolition.

As any works that would alter the special character of a listed building require listed building consent, it is best to assume you will have to apply for consent.

Many proposals for works to a listed building may also require an application for planning permission or building regulation approval.

Works needing consent

Listed below are examples of the types of works that require listed building consent. Please note this list is not exhaustive. Additionally, Historic England provide further guidance on listed building consents.

  • Demolition - the removal of any part of the listed building (including objects and structures within the curtilage of the listed building) will require listed building consent
  • Extensions - all forms of extensions including porches, dormer windows and conservatories will require listed building consent. Any extensions must be of appropriate scale and design constructed with suitable materials and with careful attention paid to detail
  • External alterations - external works, including decorative alterations, will require listed building consent. These include:
    • replacement or double glazed windows or doors
    • new rendering, painting or cladding or the removal of existing
    • new roofing materials (or the addition of fabric/features to a roof - e.g. solar panels)
    • insertion of roof lights
    • repointing in different materials or pointing style
  • Internal alterations - are likely to require listed building consent, especially if they propose the removal or alteration of historic fabric or would involve the use of modern materials like plasterboard, insulation, damp proofing or timber treatment, including:
    • staircases
    • internal walls, floors and ceilings
    • wall panelling and window shutters
    • fireplaces
    • doors
    • plasterwork and woodwork mouldings
  • Minor works - require listed building consent when they affect the special character of a listed building. These include:
    • satellite dishes
    • external lighting and wiring
    • shutters
    • door furniture
    • alarm boxes
    • nameplates, signs and advertisements
    • infrared detectors or CCTV
    • external meter boxes, electric chargers
    • central heating or other flues, vents, extracts, air con and heat recovery units and pipework

Conservation areas 

Conservation areas put in place tighter planning controls for anyone seeking permission to undertake particular works where planning controls are extended to give greater protection.

In a conservation area, planning permission is required for work that would ordinarily constitute permitted development. This includes:

  • demolition of buildings with a volume of 115 cubic metres or more
  • exterior cladding ( stone, artificial stone, pebble dash, render, timber, plastic or tiles)
  • side extensions, or the construction of any other building or structure to the side of the house
  • rear extensions of more than one storey
  • extensions immediately above top most storey of a dwelling
  • roof extensions, including insertion of dormer windows
  • the installation, alteration or replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe (installed on a wall or roof slope which fronts a highway and forms either principal elevation or a side elevation visible from the highway)
  • erection of an aerial or satellite dish on chimney, wall, or roof slope facing onto and visible from the highway
  • erection of solar panels on roofs (where they project more than 20cm from the roof plane) or walls facing the highway or on Listed Building or within curtilage of Listed Buildings (including stand alone solar panels)
  • limits on the size of domestic and industrial extensions
  • demolition of walls, fences, gates or other means of enclosure 1m high next to a highway or 2m elsewhere
  • air source heat pumps (subject to certain restrictions on size and location)
  • micro wind turbines
  • works to trees

Article 4 Directions

A number of conservation areas also have Article 4 Directions which further restrict permitted development rights.

Article 4 directions can be put in place on buildings or parts of buildings to add further controls for features which are particularly important to the historic and architectural interest of the area. 

This may be with regards to development such as replacing windows, painting the exterior of a property or constructing a porch. Each Article 4 Direction will be clear about precisely which permitted development rights have been removed, and for which properties.

Last updated 14 December 2023