Listed building consent

Listed building consent is required for all works of demolition, alteration or extension to a listed building that affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. This includes internal works and possibly works to buildings and structures within the curtilage.

An application for listed building consent is made to, and determined by, the local planning authority. Where the works have an impact on the external appearance of the building, planning permission may also be required and if so should typically be applied for at the same time.

Carrying out works to a listed building without the benefit of listed building consent when required is a criminal offence.

Therefore if in doubt please double check with the conversation team. It is not a defence to show that consent would or should have been given if it had been applied for. A defence is available if the works were urgently necessary in the interests of health and safety.

Please note that list descriptions are not usually a definitive summary of all the elements that might be of special interest to a listed building, and in many cases are simply there to clarify the address of the listed structure. It is a common misunderstanding for example that the special interest of a listed building lies only in its features, such as fireplaces and plasterwork, or that only the frontage of facade of a building is special. The general form and layout of a listed building may be as important as any architectural element.

Listed building consent is free, as is discharging any conditions attached to a listed building consent.

The forms can be obtained from the Planning Portal.

Application for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Works to a Listed Building

This type of application was introduced under The Planning (Listed Buildings) (Certificates of Lawfulness of Proposed Works) Regulations 2014 and came into force on 6 April 2014.

Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Works to a Listed Building should be used to establish if proposed works to a listed building would not affect the character of the listed building, therefore not requiring listed building consent.

As this is a closed question, it should only be used to establish whether works need listed building consent or not.

Please also note that this type of certificate can only be applied prior to the relevant works being carried out and cannot be done retrospectively.

The certificate application must include a detailed description of the proposed works (including existing and proposed materials and finishes) together with details of those part(s) of the building likely to be affected.

The applicant must also justify why they think the proposed works do not affect the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building. In addition to any other relevant information, the proposed certificate should be accompanied by:

  • a plan identifying the listed building(s) to which the application refers
  • a statement as to the applicant's interest (ownership, tenancy etc) in the listed building(s) and any interest of any other person
  • details of listed building grading
  • Sufficient details on the works proposed (e.g. technical drawings, schedule of works by a builder, annotated photographs etc)

There is no fee for submitting these certificates. Please feel free to call and discuss any aspect of this process with the conservation team.

Listed building guide

This page sets out details on listed buildings, what they are and how they are identified.

What is a listed building? Listed building designation

A building is listed when it has been identified as being of ‘special architectural or historic interest’ that is of national importance and therefore worth preserving for future generations. The older a building is, and the fewer the surviving examples of its kind, the more likely it is to be listed. The designation means that it is protected through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and any proposals to improve or alter the listed structure will need to be sympathetic to its special interest.

The total number of listed buildings in England has recently passed 400,000. You can check to see if your building or structure is listed by searching the National Heritage List.

Listed buildings come in three categories of 'significance':

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest (only 2.5% of all listed buildings are Grade I)
  • Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest (5.8% of listed building are Grade II*)
  • Grade II buildings are of special interest

Most listed building owners are likely to live in a Grade II listed building as these make up 92% of all listed buildings.

How are listed buildings designated?

The assessment for listed building designation is carried out by Historic England. This is then presented to the Secretary of State for the final decision to add it to the list or not. Historic England has produced a series of selection guides to help explain what they are looking for when Historic England assess applications for listing.

The main principles considered are:

  • Age and rarity. The older a building is and the fewer the surviving examples of its kind, the more likely it is to have special interest
  • Aesthetic merits. Both in its intrinsic architectural merit and group value. However its special interest will not always be reflected in obvious external visual quality. 
  • Technological innovation or illustrating particular aspects of social or economic history adds to the aesthetic of a building

Anyone can nominate a building to be considered for listing. See how to get involved.

Extent of listing and curtilage

The protection afforded to a listed building includes the whole building, as well as its:

  • Interior
  • Attached structures and fixtures
  • Later extensions and additions
  • Pre 1948 buildings with the curtilage

Listed buildings vary immensely in type, size and appearance, and therefore what is covered by a listing is typically unique to each building. Please contact the conservation team prior to carrying out any works submitting an application to clarify the extent of the listing.

List descriptions are not typically an exclusive list of all elements that are of special interest of a listed building and should not be the sole basis for a heritage risk assessment. 

How will listing affect me?

If you are thinking about making changes to a listed building, such as replacing doors or adding an extension, you will find talking to the conservation team is a useful first step.

Listing is not intended to prevent change. It simply means that listed building consent must be sought for works which might affect the building's special interest. Listed buildings are to be enjoyed and used, like any other building. Listed buildings can be altered, extended and sometimes even demolished within government planning guidance.

Consent will typically be required for all alternations to the building, inside or out. Common DIY projects such as attic conversions, en suites and extensions will all typically require permission.

Repairs on a like for like basis might not require consent, but you may need to agree works through a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Works to a Listed Building. This process might also be advisable for minor operations such as boiler improvements.

In determining any relevant applications, the local authority is likely to support proposals that sustain the site's historic and architectural significance. On occasion, difficult or challenging decisions are required within the context of other issues, such as its function, condition or viability. In these cases, a clear and convincing justification is required for any adverse impact.

Listed buildings at risk

This section sets out our advice on listed buildings at risk.

The district has 1387 buildings, structures and monuments that are regarded to be of national significance and designated as listed buildings. Whilst the great majority are in good condition, there are a number of buildings that have fallen into disuse and disrepair. These structures are commonly referred to as 'buildings at risk'.

The purpose of identification of being at risk is to raise awareness of the deteriorating condition of listed buildings and to generate interest among the local community and potential investors. Listed buildings that are not being maintained in a reasonable condition can be subject to legal action by the council to enforce repairs. In the most extreme cases, neglect may lead to compulsory purchase proceedings by the council.

The national Heritage at Risk Programme (HAR) helps us understand the overall state of England's historic sites, identifying those that are most at risk of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development. Historic England launched the national register in 2008.

The register includes:

  • Grade I and II* listed buildings and structures
  • Places of worship
  • Archaeological sites
  • Conservation areas
  • Registered parks and gardens
  • Registered battlefields
  • Protected wreck sites

Each year, Historic England updates the national Heritage at Risk Register. The end result is a dynamic picture of the sites most at risk and most in need of safeguarding for the future. You can search the Heritage at Risk Register or download a regional register.

Historic England has selection criteria to determine if is should be included on the register. The criteria assess the heritage asset's 'occupancy' and 'condition'.

Occupancy can include:

  • Vacant
  • Part occupied
  • Occupied
  • Not applicable
  • Unknown

Many heritage assets fall within the 'not applicable' as these could be uninhabitable structures such as walls, gates, monuments and mile stones.

Condition includes:

  • Very bad
  • Poor
  • Fair
  • Good

Heritage assets that are included on the register typically fall within the category 'very bad', 'poor' and 'fair'. Occasionally something categorised as 'good' can be included on the register due to the vulnerability of the heritage asset and a need to keep an eye on it.

A local heritage at risk survey of buildings not included in the national methodology has been undertaken by Nottinghamshire County Council across the district, providing a snapshot in time from the period 2013-2017.

The survey uses similar criteria to Historic England's national survey, assessing the heritage asset against its occupancy and condition. This produces a risk category between 1 and 6 as set out in the table below.

Risk Cat Occupancy Condition
1A N/A Very bad
1 Vacant Very bad
2 Part occupied Very bad
3A N/A Poor
3 Occupied Very bad
3 Vacant or part-occupied Poor
4A N/A Fair
4 Occupied Poor
4 Vacant or part-occupied Fair
5A N/A Good
5 Occupied Fair
5 Vacant Good
6 Occupied or part-occupied Good

Risk categories 1-3 are considered to be 'at risk' of being irrevocably lost. Those that fall within category 4 are deemed as 'vulnerable' and should be regularly inspected.

The local heritage at risk register is due to be published and relevant details will be added to this section. In the meantime, please contact the conservation team if you want to check whether a property is at risk.

The survey has also identified matters relating to heritage crime. This can include a wide range of factors, from vandalism and theft, to unauthorised works.

Further information on heritage crime can be found on Historic England's website.

You can find more on reporting heritage crime and enforcement matters in the how to get involved section.

Reducing the risk

Maintenance and occupation are essential in preventing heritage from becoming at risk. Maintenance of assets already at risk can prevent them from further decay. Without maintenance, the cost of repair and consolidation escalates; the challenge for owners and occupiers increases and the scope for an affordable solution declines.

The conservation team look to work with owners of buildings and structures on the heritage at risk register to eventually have them removed. Pre-application advice is typically free for all aspects of planning discussion regarding listed buildings at risk.

Grants for listed buildings

Currently we do not provide any grants for heritage related projects. Nevertheless, you may be able to seek grant assistance from other sources.

Grants for heritage assets in private ownership are limited. However, those that are in public or charitable ownership might be eligible for assistance. It is therefore worth exploring sources of public or charitable funding, such as those on this page.

Historic England

Priorities include

  • Heritage at risk
  • Activities that strengthen the ability of reducing or avoiding risk by understanding, managing and conserving the historic environment 
  • Historic England’s grant schemes


Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

Heritage Lottery Fund has a wide range of grant schemes or various sizes. They aim to support that ‘make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities’. Visit HLF website to find out about their specific grant schemes.

The Heritage Funding Directory

This website has a directory which provides details of funding opportunities for a wide range of heritage assets including:

  • historic buildings
  • landscapes
  • parks and gardens
  • churchyards and cemeteries
  • industrial heritage
  • archives
  • historic churches
  • museums
  • archaeology
  • environmental
  • heritage and conservation skills
  • Heritage Funding Directory


Churchcare works in partnership with various grant-giving bodies to provide funding for church projects. Grants support PCCs in the conservation of church buildings and their historic content. 


This directory has information about grant-making trusts for a wide range of focuses, including the historic environment.

Listed building FAQs

Is VAT different for works to listed buildings?

As of 1 October 2012, value-added tax (VAT) at the standard rate (20%) applies to all materials and services supplied in the course of approved alterations to listed buildings or scheduled monuments. Previously the cost of approved alterations was zero rated for VAT.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and listed buildings

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement when constructing, selling or renting out a building. An EPC is produced by an accredited Energy Assessor who uses standard software using property survey data to produce two ratings: one for energy efficiency and one for environmental impact.

Various types of work to your listed building may require consent, and it should be remembered that it is a criminal offence to carry out work to a listed building without consent when it's needed. In addition to these consents, planning permission may also be required.

The decision whether to give consent for an energy improvement measure will weigh the need for the improvement against the impact of the measure. We are likely to prefer measures that are inconspicuous and do not alter the fabric of the building.

The Government acknowledges that for listed building and buildings in conservation areas it may not be possible in all cases to achieve higher ratings where this would be harmful to the special interest of the building. Where it is demonstrated they cannot achieve this rating they would not need an EPC.

From January 2013 there has been an ‘exemption’ for listed buildings, but, the exemption is qualified, and states: “Insofar as compliance with certain minimum energy performance requirements would unacceptably alter their character or appearance”. 

The energy efficiency of older buildings can be improved in many different ways. Some measures might have very minimal impact on the character and appearance of the building, such as changing to a more efficient boiler. Other measures such as adding new double glazed windows or solid wall insulation could have a substantial impact. Listed buildings vary considerably in the extent they can accommodate change both internally and externally.

We recommend that you contact the conservation team for further advice.

Listed buildings and council tax and business rates

Council tax and business rates are based on a valuation of the property. That valuation is in principle the same for heritage assets as it is for any other property. 

Business rates are payable in respect of all historic buildings except listed or scheduled buildings that are unoccupied.

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