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A listed building is a building, object or structure that has been judged to be of national importance in terms of architectural or historic interest. They are recorded on a central register called the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.
When it comes to listed buildings their popularity is clear as they tend to sell for 20% more than a modern new build property. Their fabulous traditional features such as ceiling mouldings, timber sash windows, spindle staircases and outstanding feature fireplaces can be what justifies the listing in the first place and are certainly enough to make anyone want to move straight in. However, are people fully aware of what purchasing a listed building really means for them or are they simply blinded by their character and beauty?
Listed buildings are subject to extensive planning restrictions designed to protect the appearance and structure of the property. Historic England distinguishes between Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II listing, depending on the significance of the building’s unique features, with over 90% of listed buildings being designated as Grade II.
If you wish to make any alterations to your listed property you will be required to adhere to strict planning controls that are in place. These state that any alterations or extensions will require specific listed building consent from the local planning authority as opposed to a normal planning permission. Any improvements may also be limited in respect of any materials you may want to use, so as to maintain the character of the listed property.
When buying a listed building, an in depth listed building survey is essential due to the age of the buildings and the potential defects that may arise. A survey of this nature will also highlight any past unapproved renovations that the property may have been subject to. This is best to be carried out by an experienced property surveyor who has previous experience dealing with listed properties. There are also independent communities such as the Listed Property Owner's Club (LPOC) who work to provide valuable information and support on all matters of maintenance, specialist suppliers or trades and planning issues dedicated to listed buildings.
Whilst it is clear that purchasing a listed property should always be a well-considered decision and there is no doubt that caring for a listed building is not for the faint hearted, the reward of owning a unique part of British architectural heritage is considered by many, to be worth it.
Speak to a knowledgeable and experienced house conveyancing solicitor today by contacting our team either by calling us on 01484 821 500 or completing our online enquiry form and we will contact you at a time that is suitable for you.