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  • Refurbish/Develop

    Refurbishing Listed Building

    Hi All,

    I have come accross a Listed building and I am intending to renovate. This would be my first listed building to work on. Please can you advise how to go about renovating such a building, do I inform Council before I start and what is the process?

    Thank you in advance for you input

    Michelle

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    Depends on the grade of listing. Lived in Bath  and you couldn't blow your nose without permission. You are totally at the mercy of the authorities and I would advise asking, asking and asking because as far as I am concerned you cannot win.

    Worth getting a local  Architect or Architectural Technician certainly with experience of your local council. It need not be onerous but going wrong can be traumatic!

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    Hi Michelle,

    Refurbishing a listed building is really only for those people with a great deal of experience and deep pockets imho.  I have never undertaken this, so I can only speak in very broad and general terms.

    Before you can do anything, you will need to have a Heritage Statement undertaken which will cost in the region of £2 to £3K.  A specialist surveyor will visit your building and document all the original features etc.

    You will then need to go to the planning department at your local council and meet with the planning officer and a specialist heritage officer from English Heritage or such like.

    They will have to pre-agree all works, materials used etc. and you will not be able to do anything in the building without their permission.

    It will take up to 3 to 4 times longer to undertake refurbishment on such a building due to everything having to go through approval and the costs are far greater, as you have to pay for specialist professional input and materials.

    Many of these projects are not commercially viable and are only undertaken by people with very deep pockets who want to live in the property, not make a profit from it.

    ​I hope that helps for starters?

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    Some interesting comments.

    I have attached a link to the advise from historic England. You do not need a heritage statement as a matter of course however any works you do to a listed building do need listed building consent and if you don't get it then you commit a criminal offence.

    If you follow the link then there is a little video explaining things and planning which is rather helpful for what you want to do. 

    The first thing to do is actually look at what the listing is. A lot of buildings are listed but it is only certain features of it that are listed. It might be a window or a wall or certain elements that are of interest.

    This will impact on what you need to do.

    It does not actually need to be massively onerous but it also can.

    https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/pla...sents/lbc/ 

    (*Video embedded by moderator*).


    Some local authority conservation officers can be a real pain.

    Jerry

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    Hi Jerry, 

    Thank you for your response, really appreciate this. Now that you have mentioned this, I believe it is parts of the building, i.e windows that are listed. The actual property is a mixed-use unit with apartments above and commercial units below. I am going to look into it further in order to understand the costs and watch the video you have shared.

    Thank you again,

    Michelle

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    Research carefully before going any further. I viewed a building where only the wrought iron perimeter fence was (grade 2) listed - I was advised that by default this meant the whole property was grade 2 listed. This concerned me as I have be warned by several people that getting approval for changes to listed building can take a huge amout of resources. Some of the restrictions made my intended changes impractical / uneconomical.

    You should also check any previous changes to the building have been formally signed off, if unapproved historical changes are found after you buy the property it is your responsibility to resolve the issue (this can be a very expensive problem for a new owner).

    Do you know what the grading is ? (Grade 1, 2, 2* etc ?). Different grades have different restrictions.  https://www.reallymoving.com/conveyancing...d-building

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    Thanks Jerry for added detail.  As I stated, I was only speaking in broad terms, but the devil is always in the detail in property.

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     'A lot of buildings are listed but it is only certain features of it that are listed.'

    Happy to be proved wrong, but I don't think that is correct.

    My understanding is that, if a building is Grade I or II listed, then everything in the curtilage is listed (and protected).  Obviously, some features may be more important than others, but that is not what you have stated.

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    https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/you...-building/ says

    Listing covers a whole building, including the interior, unless parts of it are specifically excluded in the list description.

    It can also cover:

    • Other attached structures and fixtures
    • Later extensions or additions
    • Pre-1948 buildings on land attached to the building. (In the planning system, the term ‘curtilage’ is used to describe this attached land.)

    Because all listed buildings are different and unique, what is actually covered by a listing can vary quite widely. It is best, therefore, to check this with your local planning authority.

    So the whole building of all listed buildings will normally be covered. Outbuildings etc may be covered. You need to read the listing for the building to make sure.

    As an example, my parents own a water mill (Grade II*) and associated house (Grade II). The summary for the house says

    Mill House, with attached bridge and boundary railings

    and for the mill

    The Mill (to rear of Mill House)

    After each of these is a very detailed description of the construction. The grounds (including a second bridge) and other outbuildings are not included in the listings. In particular, the tunnel which takes the outflow from the water wheel is not listed (probably because the person creating the listing didn't know it existed).

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    Always is. However it shouldn't be to onerous.

    Good luck

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