Listed Buildings

Listed building specialist architects: protecting the past and building for the future.

Investing in a Listed building in Essex or London is exciting: not only will you have secured a property full of character and historical interest, but you will become caretakers of a small part of English heritage.  However, extensions on grade 2 listed buildings are not without significant challenges, most notably how to honour and preserve the building’s past whilst making it functionable and fit for your intended purpose in today’s modern world and still satisfy the planning criteria attached to listed buildings.

As strict planning criteria and controls determine what changes can be made to the interior and exterior of listed buildings in London, you will have to apply to the local planning authority for Listed Building Consent before you make any alterations and for both planning permission and listed building consent if you are extending as well as altering the listed building.  This is a legal requirement, and it is important to bear in mind that your building’s listed status may also apply to other attached structures and fixtures such as extensions. Outbuildings and barns within the curtilage of the listed building are also known as curtilage listed and will in most cases need listed building consent as well as planning permission to alter and extend. Permitted development does not apply for a listed property or for a property with thin curtilage of City of London listed buildings. Although this process can be frustrating and inconvenient it doesn’t mean that you can’t alter or modernise your property to achieve what you wish, just that any changes need to be carefully considered and carried out and meet specific criterior. Particularly consideration must be given to match existing materials and often historical details such as the very elegant timber sash windows may need to repaired rather than replaced. We are able to guide you through the planning process.

Our experienced listed building architects are specialists in working with historic buildings and have worked on many listed buildings in London – particularly timber framed buildings houses and historic barns, Grade II and Grade II* status properties.  Our extensive expertise in extending, converting and refurbishing listed buildings in both rural and conservation areas, means that we know how to carefully alter your building to sensitively and practically bring it up to modern standards, that meet your personal requirements, but still retain its intrinsic features, materials and details.

We can, if you require, help source the right materials and craftsmen to work with you.  Although you will need a robust budget to carry out work on a historic building.

M P Architects LLP has excellent working relationships with the local planning authorities and conservation officers and has good insight into what their requirements are likely to be.  We will always be happy to give you an initial assessment of the viability of your project and likely projected costs.

Four important questions you should ask when investing in listed buildings in London and Essex

How do I know if my property is a listed building?

A building is listed when it is noted as being of special architectural or historic interest and considered to be of national importance and worth protecting. You can discover whether a property is listed by looking at the Historic England Website. Or you can contact your local authority. Often there will be additional information detailing what is significant about your building.
There are three categories of ‘significance’:

What parts of my home does ‘listing’ cover?

Listing covers a whole building, including the interior, unless parts of it are explicitly excluded in the list entry. It will usually cover:

However, because all listed buildings are different, what is covered by a listing can vary quite widely. You should therefore always check what’s included in your listing with the local authority.

What is Listed Building Consent and do I need it for a listed building in London or Essex?

When a building is listed it means that there are additional planning controls outside the normal planning controls, that apply to that building, both inside and out.

If you plan to carry out any alteration, extension or refurbishment work you are legally required to apply for Listed Building Consent. It is not advisable to undertake work on any building without permission. If your council finds out that unauthorised building works have been carried out without the benefit of Listed Building Consent, they may issue you with a Listed Building Enforcement Notice under ‘Listed buildings and conservation Area Act 1990’. This means that if such a notice is entered on the Local Land Charges Register, it could make the future sale or financing of the property more difficult.

Carrying out, or causing the carrying out of unauthorised works to listed buildings in London or Essex in a manner which effects its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest is also an offence under Section 9 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and accordingly any person found guilty of such an offence is liable of a fine of up to £20,000 and/or up to 6 months’ imprisonment upon conviction in the Magistrates’ Court, and an unlimited fine and/or up to 2 years’ imprisonment if convicted by the Crown Court.

Therefore, it definitely worth investing in the expertise of experienced listed building architects in Essex to help you navigate the complexities of planning. You will need to provide detailed scaled drawings, Design and Access Statements and Heritage Statements which we can prepare for you. We have contacts with Historic Building Recorders who can survey the building and write up more detailed reports which are often also needed to supported a Listed Building Application.

Do I need Planning Permission if I have Listed Building Consent to extend, alter or convert my listed building in Essex?

You will need to get Planning Permission with Listed Building Consent to extend and Listed Building Consent only for alterations. We can assist you as listed building specialist architects.

(Source: Historic England – 2019) Historic England (officially the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England) is an executive non-departmental public body of the British Government sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

So, if you are looking for the best listed building architects in Essex, make sure to contact us today!

Click here to view our Listing Building Portfolio.