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Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas
Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

Listed Properties:
They’re pretty, elegant, quirky, important, unusual, homes, even ships and palaces, shops, follies and our heritage from the History of Bygone Britain. In the UK there are around half a million period properties of interest for which nearly 400,000 are listed homes, all of which are subject to strict regulations when it comes to planning, alterations and maintenance.

Listed buildings are graded in 3 categories relative to their importance.
 
  • Grade I: buildings of outstanding or national architectural or historic interest.    (Examples include Buckingham Palace, The Cutty Sark, The Royal Albert Hall to mention a few). 
  • Grade II*: particularly significant buildings of more than local interest. 
  • Grade II: buildings of special architectural or historic interest (representing around 90% of our listed buildings).
Although most structures appearing on the lists are buildings, other structures such as bridges, ships, piers, sculptures,  follies, memorials, monuments, and even mileposts and milestones may also be listed.
 
 
Listing Buildings Was Introduced
 

To protect important parts of our architectural heritage. When buildings are listed they are placed on statutory lists of buildings of 'special architectural or historic interest' compiled by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, on the advice of English Heritage.

The older and rarer a building is, the more likely it is to be listed. All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most built between 1700 and 1840. After that date, the criteria become tighter with time, because of the increased number of buildings built and the much larger numbers which remain, post-1945 buildings have to be exceptionally important to be listed.

Planning/ Consents and Building Works:

Permission to make any changes, which is known as Listed Building Consent is granted by conservation officer who will be contactable via your local council. The conservation officer decides if any alterations you wish to make are within guidelines and acceptable. Make sure if you are planning to buy a listed building with the intention of adding an extension or plan to undertake extensive alterations it is prudent to talk to the officer in prior.

Listing does not mean that a building can’t be altered. But it does ensure is that any alterations respect and preserve the character of the property.

The property’s longer-term interests are often best served by putting it to good use, and if this cannot be the one it was designed for. A redundant building is no use to anyone for which no doubt due to neglect disrepair and breakdown (at worse loss will occur), New uses may have to be found. Listing ensures that the architectural and historic interest such as the structure, rare features and characteristics of the building are carefully considered before any alterations, either outside or inside, are agreed.

The Law
Unauthorised works will leave you open to prosecution. Remember these buildings are of special architectural or historical interest or both, and the properties details become part of a public record and the building is immediately protected by law, and any changes to it must first receive listed building consent.

Grants
Although the kitty for grants is not overflowing grants are still given, but the key is to apply early, yearly budgets get used quick, but again talk to your local conservation officer or try the net and organizations like English Heritage should be able to advise. Repair works are favored.

VAT
Certain types of work for which you have listed building consent should not attract VAT however the onus of deciding if VAT is payable or not rests with your builder. In the event that he gets it wrong you could become liable. Check with your accountant, customs or your local conservation officer. 

Conservation Areas 
Areas of Cultural or Historical Importance. Areas that include important examples of our social, cultural and aesthetic history must be safeguarded from indiscriminate or ill-considered change. These areas often contain listed buildings. However, it is not always enough to protect these buildings in isolation. Their surroundings and general environment are often of equal importance and conservation areas are intended to protect that environment. We have a responsibility to ensure that the character of these areas is not diminished in our lifetime.
 
Living in a Conservation Area
The designation of a conservation area indicates a council's positive commitment to these areas and its intention to preserve and enhance the quality of the environment. However, conservation areas are not open-air museums but living communities which must be allowed to change over time in order to remain vital and prosperous. It is important that all new development should be sympathetic to the special architectural and aesthetic qualities of the area, particularly in terms of scale, design, materials and space between buildings. Your council has statutory powers to control changes within conservation areas and these are summarized as follows:
 
Demolition of buildings
Conservation area consent is required for the demolition in whole or part of most buildings and structures, including walls and outhouses. If demolition is being considered then advice should be sought from the council.
 
 
Trees
If you wish to fell, lop or top or uproot trees within a conservation area, you must give the council six weeks notice in writing. It is an offence to carry out the work within that period without the consent of your council.
 
 
Satellite dishes
The siting of a satellite dish on the chimney stack or on the roof slope or elevation fronting the road requires consent from your council.
 
Design of new development
Your council has the power to require a very high standard of design which is sympathetic to the existing environment. New development must make a positive contribution to the character of the area. In view of this, your council can require additional information in support of any planning application showing how the proposal will relate to the conservation area. This can mean the submission of elevations of adjacent buildings, full details of the proposal and examples of materials and colours. Usually only a fully detailed planning application will be considered, which should be accompanied by a design statement.
 
Your council will advertise all planning applications affecting the character of conservation areas both on site and in the local paper.
Alterations to roofs and cladding of buildings proposals to change the profile of a roof, for example with the provision of a dormer window, and to clad a building with a different material, such as imitation stone, require consent from your council.
 
 
At INEA we are honoured to have Tony Hicks (Mech Eng) as an associate. Tony is a highly respected professional in the field of Timber Frame and Period Buildings. If you are considering works, improvements, alterations, renovation or buying a period or listed building we strongly recommend that you visit the 'Anthony Hicks' website as below. Tony also works with 'green oak'. Tony's team are trained to work to a high conservation standard and pay close attention to detail. We offer a complete service from reports, structural calculations, planning to manufacture, working closely with our clients through to the completion of their project. Whilst Tony insist on superior quality workmanship his team tailors each project to meet the clients specific budget, turning dreams into reality and providing a sound investment.
 
 
Company: ANTHONY HICKS
(Timber Frame & Period Buildings Specialist)
web: Here 
 
Tony is a Timber Frame and Period Building Specialist and a member of the Institute of Historic Building Conservation. The company has worked on projects throughout the South East of England, Germany, France and North America. Anthony Hicks are committed to the cause of conservation and have used our specialist knowledge to restore many historic structures. When it comes to the top of the tree they don't come any higher. Projects have included works to Buckingham Palace.
 
 
 
 

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