A Guide to Listed Buildings

What Is A Listed Building?

A Listed Building is one that has been given legal protection by the Secretary of State. They are usually protected as being of rare and good examples of a particular style or type of building or structure.

Why Is A Building Listed?

Throughout history, England has had a very diverse building history, with each region having different styles and materials, many of which altered dramatically over time. Listing is a tool for protection to ensure that the best examples of the various styles and types of buildings are retained, both for our enjoyment and education, and for the generations that follow.

What Is The Difference In Grades?

There are currently three grades of Listed Buildings: I, II* and II.

Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest and quality, and locally include Harvington Hall, and Bewdley Bridge.

Grade II* are of particular importance, and include Lickhill Manor and Drayton House.

Grade II are of special interest, and warrant every effort being made to preserve them.

What Is Included In The Listing?

When a building is listed, the whole of the building is protected, both internally and externally, although some parts of the buildings are likely to be of more interest than others.

Outbuildings associated with the main house are referred to as curtilage buildings, and will be subject to the same advice and controls as the principle building.

Some houses have formal or large gardens, which may include statues or other landscaping features. These will often be included in the curtilage of the building.

Listed Building Consent

Listed Building Consent has to be gained for works that will affect the character or special interest of the building, and for the demolition of the building. It is a criminal offence to carry out unauthorised works to a Listed Building.

It is strongly advised that pre - application discussions take place prior to the submission of any such application, with the conservation officer and a Development Management officer. This will help to ensure a full understanding of the application, and help to identify any potential problems before the application is registered.


General maintenance and repairs will not normally require Listed Building Consent, as long as the materials used are “like-for-like” (ie. using slates to repairing a slate roof, or a lime-based mortar for repointing). However, prior to the commencement of any such works, it is highly recommended to check whether the works will need any consent. As previously described, undertaking unauthorised works to a Listed Building is a criminal offence.

Alterations And Extensions

Whilst Listed Building Consent is needed for many works within a Listed Building, minor alterations, such as replacing the kitchen units, will not normally require consent. Extensions will always require consent, and it is strongly advised that pre-application discussions are held prior to any such application being submitted. Such alterations as replacing timber windows with upvc will require consent, as this is considered a material alteration. Officers will not usually support applications for such works.