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Do I need listed building consent?

If you wish to undertake internal or external alterations which affect the character of a listed building or extend or demolish part or all of a listed building you will require listed building consent. Listed building consent may also be required for any works to buildings within the grounds of a listed building. Even relatively minor works such as painting, repairs and the removal of gateposts and walls may affect the character of a listed building.

It is the Council’s decision whether the works will affect the character of a building, so it is important to find out whether listed building consent is required before carrying out any works. To do this you should submit an Application for a Lawful Development Certificate for proposed works to a Listed Building (PDF).

As there are no permitted development rights for Listed Properties, Planning Permission will also be required for minor extensions or development within the curtilage of a property eg garages, garden huts, fences.

What about small scale alterations? Do they need Listed Building Consent?

The present generations should be maintaining the character and appearance of listed buildings for the benefit of future generations. Small changes to the exterior might not look a big deal in isolation, but they add up and could cumulatively have a big effect on the character or appearance of the listed building. Because of this even small-scale alterations like adding a rooflight, creating new external openings, removing or lowering a chimney, altering the boundary wall, adding a satellite dish or solar panel, painting or rendering stonework, creating flue openings, building decking and adding external pipework all need listed building consent.

Does listing control absolutely everything I can do to the inside of a building?

No. Listing is there to protect the historic fabric and character of the building for future generations, so replacing modern fittings like kitchen and bathroom suites, redecorating or other minor internal alterations would not require listed building consent. However if your listed building contains features like old fireplaces, decorative plasterwork, panelling or flooring it would be worth contacting the Design and Conservation Team on 01274 434605 before removal or alteration, as these features may well contribute to the building’s special interest.

What about repairs and maintenance? Would they require Listed Building Consent?

If the repairs are on a like for like basis, then no. However, if your repairs involve the use of a different material such as artificial slate instead of stone slate, uPVC instead of timber, cement based render or mortar instead of lime based render or mortar then you will be altering the character and appearance of the listed building and therefore listed building consent would be required. Justification would be needed to change the materials or traditional detailing found on a listed building. More information about repairs and maintenance can be found on the Altering or repairing a Listed Building page.

It should be noted that the replacement of a door or window will always require Listed Building Consent, as this would be classed as an alteration rather than repair.

The Landscape, Design and Conservation Team will be able to advise you on whether Listed Building Consent will be required for specific alterations and repairs.

How to apply for Listed Building Consent

The procedure for obtaining Listed Building Consent is similar to applying for planning permission. You must submit an application to the Council. More information about this process can be found in the Make a Planning Application section.

It may also be necessary to apply for planning permission. This must be done on a separate form but in most cases applications for both can be considered at the same time. The whole process takes about 8 weeks (longer in the case for Grade I and Grade II* buildings or when demolition is to take place) so it is advisable to apply well before you want to do any works.

What happens if I make alterations without consent?

Under Section 9 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, it is a criminal offence to demolish, alter or extend a Listed Building in a way which would affect its character, without the necessary consent. The penalties for doing so can be heavy. The courts can impose unlimited fines and a prison sentence for listed building offences. However, in the first instance the Council usually serves a Listed Building Enforcement Notice in order to restore the building to its former state or to alleviate the effects of works which were unauthorised.

Unauthorised works to a Listed Building exist as long as the building is on the list. If an owner carries out work which is not detected by the Council, it can cause problems in the future when the property is sold.

Townscape Heritage Scheme

Bradford Council has received a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £2 million to support the Bradford City Centre Townscape Heritage Scheme. The four year project aims to provide financial assistance to property owners and tenants, to restore their historic buildings, within the part of Bradford city centre conservation area locally known as the ‘top of town’.  The scheme aims to improve historic buildings, contributing to the quality of the townscape, which should increase property values, and encourage further business investment in the area.