12 Aug Things to Consider When Buying a Listed Building
Things to Consider When Buying a Listed Building
Buying a listed building means owning a piece of English history! But whatever age your listed home is, there are certain levels of restrictions that prevent you from altering, extending or demolishing without special permission from the local planning authority.
Restrictions were initially put in place during the 2nd World War. The damage caused by bombing prompted the first list of buildings that were regarded as being of special interest. To be added to the list a building had to be viewed as having architectural or historic importance. In the event of a building being damaged in a bombing raid, the list was used to decide whether to rebuild it or not with a set of rules as to how the restoration was completed.
Although many buildings are of either architectural or historic importance, to be listed they must be of special interest as well. The Secretary of State uses a set of criteria to make his decision. To be listed as a Grade I building it must be of exceptional interest. A Grade II* building is classed as particularly important and of more than special interest. Grade II buildings are viewed as having a special interest which warrants every effort to preserve them. Having the status of being a Grade listed building protects it from any changes that would impact its historical importance and structural character and integrity. This protects both the inside and outside, garden walls, outbuildings and even garden statues!
So, considering the national importance of these buildings, if you own one or are considering buying one there are a few important things that you need to consider first.
1. Your home will be on a national register that can be searched on the Historic England website.
2. If you want to make any alterations, extensions, alter the internal layout or put up a satellite dish, you must first get permission from your local authority.
3. Because the local authority will decide the extent and scope of all rebuild costs of a listed building, you will need to have specialist insurance, which will be an added expense compared to a non listed building.
4. You will have to use very specific materials on all repairs, and will probably need to hire specialist builders who understand what is needed to comply with the regulations, and you might not be given permission to fit double glazing or insulation. Owning a listed building will cost you more to live in and repair, so needs to be given serious consideration.
Some of the most important and diverse listed buildings in the UK are Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight, Montacute House, Somerset and Battersea Power Station in London.
As specialist contractors who work on heritage buildings we understand the importance of abiding by all the regulations. Our expertise means we can make repairs that befit the age and special interest of the buildings we work on. If you need advice or information about your house, we would love to hear from you!