How does purchasing a ‘listed’ building differ from an ordinary purchase?
In the South East we have a number of properties of special architectural or historical importance. A listed building will fall into one of three categories of listing; Grade I, II or III, with the most common being Grade II. Greater restrictions are in place for Grade I and Grade II buildings and it is extremely important that when you purchase a listed building that you have a specialist survey to ensure that the terms of the listing have been complied with, as the penalties for non-compliance are considerable and the obligation will be placed on you to remedy any breaches, if you purchase a property without ensuring that the listing has been complied with. Please refer to the Historic England website for further guidance https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/what-is-designation/listed-buildings/
Once you are the owner of a listed property, if you intend carrying out any works, you should seek advice from the local authority’s Conservation officer, as stricter planning restrictions apply. If the Conservation officer is of the opinion that the alterations or additions will affect the property’s protected features then they will require you to apply for listed buildings consent. This is in addition to the usual planning permission and building regulations approval, which may be required, depending on the nature of the alteration that you intend making. It is extremely important to obtain the necessary consents as the penalty for breach of the listing can result in up to two years imprisonment and there is also no time limit in which a local authority can bring enforcement action.
For further information, please contact Gemma Blizard.