Owning a Piece of History

It is estimated there are over 500,000 listed buildings in the UK. These buildings are subject to strict regulations to ensure they are preserved. At Thomson & Bancks we regularly deal with the sale and purchase of listed buildings so we asked Conveyancing Solicitor, Chantal Butters, to answer some questions.

So why are buildings listed?

Buildings are listed by the Secretary of State if they are considered to be of special interest, to ensure they are protected for generations to come.


What is included in a listed building?

These sorts of buildings often include historical and/or architectural characteristics and therefore the whole of the building is included, both internally and externally as well as structures within the curtilage of the building.


What if I want to alter a listed building?

If you own a property which is listed and you wish to alter it in a way which would affect its character, you must first obtain Listed Building Consent from the Council.


What would happen if I did not get Listed Building Consent?

Unauthorised works carried out to a listed building is a criminal offence with a maximum sentence of 2 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.


When you buy a listed building, you inherit any unauthorised work undertaken by previous owners. As there is no time limit on enforcement action you may be required to reverse the alteration.


A Listed Building Enforcement Notice may be served on the owner of the building or anyone that has an interest in the building requiring restoration or alleviating the effects of the unlawful works. Failure to comply with a Notice is an offence with potentially an unlimited fine.


It may be possible to obtain retrospective consent for works however it is always best practice to apply for Listed Building Consent before work commences, rather than take the risk of applying for retrospective consent which may not be granted at all!







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