A listed building tends to be one of a kind and is unlikely to have similar surviving constructions that have lasted in the same way. For this reason, they are protected and are subject to strict rules and regulations on any proposed changes. Here, we provide the answers to some of the most searched questions regarding listed buildings.
Martin Perry Associates are experienced building surveyors in Cornwall and Plymouth. We have a managed a range of projects, including successfully achieving listed building consent for structural changes to properties and have a broad range of advice to offer on the topic!
What is a Listed Building?
A listed building in the UK is a protected building which aims to ensure its heritage is rightfully preserved. It will most likely be listed due to its historical value or unique architectural design. A listed building cannot be altered internally or externally unless awarded permission from the Government. As we will explore further in this article, listed buildings are individually graded, and any alterations must abide by the rules of these grades.
How Do I Find Out if a Building is Listed?
Depending on where you live in the UK, there are available, updated lists where you can search and discover if the building you own is listed. These lists are:
• The National Heritage List for England
• Historic Environment Scotland
• Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest for Wales
• Northern Ireland Buildings Database
If a building is old, it will most likely be on the list and should be checked. The Historic England website advises that those buildings which were constructed previous to the 18th-century are most definitely listed. Those built amongst the dates 1700 and 1850 are likely to be as well.
Historic England suggests that those buildings which are less than three decades in age will be least likely to be listed as they haven’t existed long enough to be measured as ‘special architectural or historic interest’.
How are Listed Buildings Graded?
Each listed building will be graded as either Grade II, Grade II* or Grade I. Each has a separate set of regulations and requirements which must be abided by when considering any form of alteration. All alterations are subject to the approval of listed building consent applications. For a more detailed overview, please take a look at our guide to different types of listed buildings.
Can I Alter a Listed Building?
In short, the answer is yes; you can renovate a listed building. However, it is essential to mention that a listed building cannot be altered without the consent of the proper authority; it will need Listed Building Consent. This is necessary when you want to extend, modify or demolish any areas of your listed building. Therefore, you may need to seek the expertise of both building conveyors and/or legal experts to complete the process correctly.
Why is Legal Advice for Listed Buildings Required?
Many legal complications can arise when altering a listed building, and you will want to ensure you are completing the process within the terms of the legal property protection of the building.
Furthermore, it is sometimes unclear which areas of the structure have been officially listed and will need to be checked with your local Conservation Officer. For more information on this, please take a look at our top tips for renovating a listed building.
Can You Receive a Mortgage on a Listed Building?
Again, in a concise answer, yes; listed buildings can receive a mortgage. However, this is very circumstantial and will depend on each individual listed building.
Mortgage lenders base their decision to offer a mortgage on the likelihood of a building re-selling if the property had to be repossessed by them. As you can imagine, this will depend on a whole host of factors concerning the building. In general, it is considered that the more ‘unusual’ the property, the more challenging it is to sell.
Each listed building grade will vary on its mortgage acceptability and will be considered based on its likelihood of damage and need of care. For example, as Grade I buildings are the most protected level in the list, they tend to be disregarded by mortgage companies. However, this definitely doesn’t mean it is impossible as specialist companies do exist for this reason.
Do you have any more questions about listed buildings that need answering by experienced building surveyors? We would love to help you! Why not contact us on our social media channels so we can advise you further?