Conservation and Regeneration FAQs
Does listed status apply to the whole building?
Yes - when a building is listed it refers to the whole building (interior and exterior) and any object/ structure which is within its curtilage.
Buildings are listed on the ‘List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest’, under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. In the act, any object or structure fixed to the building is part of the listing. Also, any object or structure within the curtilage of the building, which although not fixed to the building forms part of the land and has done so since before 1 July 1948, is also treated as part of the listed building.
How do I find out if a building is listed?
In the first instance, you should search the National Heritage List on the Historic England website. map search is also available.
If you're unsure whether a building is listed, or what may be included within the listing, please contact the Historic Environment Team. In instances of uncertainty, it's generally easier that we advise direct to avoid the danger of someone thinking the building is not listed, and going ahead with unauthorised works.
What are the different grades of listing?
Listed buildings are placed in one of three categories, which give an indication of their importance:
Grade I – buildings of exceptional interest (around 2% of listed buildings)
Grade II* – buildings of particular importance and of more than special interest (around 4% of listed buildings)
Grade II – buildings of special interest, which represent an important part or our built heritage (around 95% of listed buildings)
Grading can be changed where re-evaluation takes place after damage or alteration, or as more evidence of a building’s history or architectural quality comes to light, but the statutory controls on alterations apply equally to all listed buildings whatever the grade.
What information does listing include?
The National Heritage List entry includes the list entry number, date the building was listed and information about its location. The list entry also includes a description of each building, which may refer to some, but not all, important features of an historic building. Every part of a building is listed, including the interior and any later alterations or additions.
Even if a feature (internal or external) isn't included in the description, it doesn't mean that it's not of interest, and it's still part of the listed building.
What are the effects of listing?
You'll need our consent to demolish a listed building, or for any alteration or extension which would affect its character, fabric or appearance as a building of architectural or historic interest. The need for listed building consent is different from planning permission, but the process is very similar.
How do I apply for consent?
You'll need to complete an application for listed building consent. Applications can be submitted online or by paper copy via the Planning Portal website. The listed building consent process is very similar to the planning process, and for most cases it will take eight weeks to process an application.
Advice to owners or developers and their professional agents is an important part of the listed building application process, and our conservation officers are available to discuss your proposal before you submit your application. Advice can be given on appropriate alterations and extensions to historic buildings. Except for the simplest applications it's advisable to employ an agent who is familiar with our policies and procedures.
If you're in any doubt, you should check with the conservation officer whether planning permission or listed building consent is needed before starting any work to a listed building.
What works can I carry out to a listed building without consent?
Regular maintenance and 'like for like' repairs
These don't need listed building consent, but it would be required if the repairs include removal of historic material or changes to its character. For example, internal alterations that include removal of historic doors, fireplaces or plasterwork, or replacement of external doors or windows would require consent. However, repainting or redecoration and installing new bathroom or kitchen fittings wouldn't normally need consent.
Internal painting and decorating
This doesn't need listed building consent, but any external painting may require consent as it may affect the character of the listed building. Replacement of modern kitchen and bathroom fittings doesn't require consent. Refurbishment involving the removal of internal features such as doors, fireplaces, plasterwork, panelling or other historic fittings constitutes alterations, and listed building consent is required before work can be carried out.
Advice on maintenance and repairs
Please do contact us via email on firstname.lastname@example.org if you're unsure whether you need permission, or for more advice on what type of work requires listed building consent, as the effect is not always straightforward
What are the main criteria for listing?
The following are the main criteria, which Historic England uses in deciding which buildings to include on the National List:
Age and rarity
All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, and most built between 1700 and 1840.
Buildings of importance because of their design, decoration and craftsmanship; also important examples of particular building types and techniques, and buildings of significant plan forms.
Illustrations of important aspects of the nation’s social, economic, cultural or military history.
Close historical association with nationally important people or events.
Especially where buildings comprise an important architectural or historic group or a fine example of planning, for example squares, terraces or model villages less than 30 years old are normally listed only if they're of outstanding quality and under threat. Buildings are not listed until they are at least ten years old.
How do I get a building listed or delisted?
Historic England will consider a request to review a listing provided the request is accompanied by new evidence relating specifically to the architectural or historic interest of the building. Evidence about a building’s condition and cost of repairing or maintaining it, or redevelopment plans, can't be considered.
You don't need to be the owner of the building. Historic England doesn't normally consider a request for de-listing when:
- there's a current application for listed building consent relating to the building
- there's an appeal against refusal of consent
- if any legal action is being taken by the local authority
Historic England receives a high number of applications for designation, and therefore resources are directed to those applications most in need of attention. Applications for designation will only be taken forward where the building or site:
- is demonstrably under threat of demolition or major alteration
- is a Designation Department priority under Historic England’s programme of strategic work
- possesses evident significance, and is obviously worthy of inclusion on the National Heritage List
Can I do emergency work to a listed building?
Emergency work can be carried out to a listed building without prior consent providing you can subsequently prove all of the following:
- that the works were urgently necessary in the interest of safety or health, or for the preservation of the building
- it wasn't practical to secure or preserve the building by works of repair or temporary support or shelter
- that the work was limited to the minimum measures immediately necessary
- that notice in writing, justifying in detail the work to be undertaken, was given to us as soon as was reasonably practicable
What policies apply to listed buildings?
We seek to preserve listed buildings, their settings and any features of architectural or historic interest. We wouldn't normally approve an application to demolish a listed building, allow alterations that would involve the loss of historic parts of the building or obscure the original plan form, layout or structural integrity, or otherwise diminish the historic value of listed buildings.
We also aim to keep listed buildings in their original use or, if this use no longer exists, in another use that causes least harm to the building. Many buildings can sustain some sensitive alterations or extensions to accommodate continuing or new uses, but listed buildings vary greatly in the extent to which they can be changed without harm to their special architectural or historic interest.
Additional detailed guidance is included in the government's Planning Policy Statement 5 - Planning and the Historic Environment.
Guidance on energy performance regulations
For guidance on energy performance regulations, please see the Historic England website .
I'm thinking of buying a listed building, what do I need to know?
External alterations may require Planning Permission. Internal alterations don’t need consent unless the building is listed. The demolition of buildings (including some boundary walls) would require Planning Permission. General maintenance and repair work is usually permitted without the need for Planning Permission. Please see our pages on Conservation Areas for more information.
How do I know if my building is listed or in a Conservation Area?
I live in a Conservation area, can I replace my windows?
We always recommend historic wooden windows to be repaired (and secondary glazed if required). The wood in windows made before the First World War is much better quality than modern wood and will last much longer with minimal repair. Where historic windows are beyond repair and planning permission is required to replace windows, we would ask for like for like replacements (design and materials). Where insensitive modern windows are being replaced, good historic replicas which match the house should be used. UPVC windows are unlikely to be acceptable in a Conservation Area. The Council provides advice through the pre-application process
What is an Article 4 Direction?
An Article 4 Direction is put on properties to protect their historic character. You would need Planning Permission to change doors, windows or roof slates. Please see our pages on Article 4 Directions for more information.
Is my property covered by an Article 4 Direction?
See information on Article 4 Directions
What consents do I need to carry out work to my building in a Conservation Area?
Unless there is an Article 4 Direction covering your property then generally the normal planning rules apply. However there are some exceptions. Please see the planning portal interactive guides for more information or please check our planning application pages.
How do I report when I think work has been done without consent?
If you suspect a crime is taking place, for example lead theft, please call the Police. Otherwise view our pages on planning enforcement breaches
Are there any grants available?
We have a small amount of Historic Building Grant money available for the restoration or reinstatement of historic features within the City Centre (gate streets). Application forms are available from email@example.com.
What is the Local Heritage Asset Register? (the Local List)?
The Local Heritage Asset Register, more commonly known as the Local List, is a register of local heritage assets that may not meet the strict requirements of national designations, but nonetheless make a significant contribution to the historic environment of Gloucester. Gloucester is in the process of creating a draft local list and the register will identify the significance of these local heritage assets, informing all current and future planning decisions.
Local heritage assets on the register can include:
- Buildings and structures
- Parks and gardens
- Archaeological sites