Please find listed below advice on Listed Building Consent. There are also some useful links to guidance available on the Historic England website. These can be found in the Links section at the bottom right of this page.

Question: What work can I do to a listed building?

Answer : Normal regular maintenance which does not affect the character of a listed building can be carried out without needing listed building consent.  Consent is not normally required for repairs but, where repairs involve alterations which would affect the character of the listed building, consent would be required.  Whether repairs constitute alterations which require consent is a matter which must be determined by the Council in each case.  Work which requires the subdivision of existing spaces, the moving of walls, doors, windows or elements of structure or the removal of existing features or finishes will require consent.  On the other hand, repainting or redecoration of existing authorised painted surfaces and the replacement of existing authorised bathroom or kitchen units would not normally require consent.  Small-scale repairs of woodwork involving the piecing in of timber to match existing rotten timber are also an example of works which would also not normally require consent. As the areas of work which can be carried out without consent are limited and must be considered on the merits of each particular case, it is strongly advised that you obtain professional advice first if you are in any doubt as to whether you require listed building consent for proposed works.

Question: Can I carry out emergency work to a listed building?

Answer : Emergency work can only be carried out to a listed building if you can subsequently prove all of the following :-

  • that the works were urgently necessary in the interests of safety or health or for the preservation of the building;
  • that it was not practicable to secure safety or health or, as the case may be, the preservation of the building by works of repair or works for affording temporary support or shelter;
  • that the works carried out were the minimum measures immediately necessary; and
  • that notice in writing justifying in detail the carrying out of the works was given to the Council as soon as reasonably practical.

Question: What is the difference between listed building consent and planning permission?

Answer : Listed building consent is required for works which affect listed buildings.  Applications for listed building consent ensure that special consideration is given to the effect of proposed works on the architectural or historic interest of a building in isolation from the many other considerations which must be considered in the determination of applications for planning permission.  To ensure that proper consideration is given to these special buildings, the Council is required to notify or consult the public, Historic England and/or prescribed national conservation bodies in appropriate circumstances and to take their views into account when determining applications. Planning permission is required to ensure that any proposed development or change of use takes place in accordance with national and local planning policies and with the knowledge of the views of relevant people or organisations. In determining applications for planning permission, a greater number of issues must be considered.  Where works affect listed buildings, the consideration of applications for planning permission must give special consideration to the effect of the works on listed buildings.  As the criteria for determination are different, proposed works often need both planning permission and listed building consent.

Question: Can a planning permission also grant listed building consent?

Answer : No.  Since 13 November 1980, it has been necessary to submit separate applications for planning permission and listed building consent (as appropriate) for any proposed works.  Works often require both listed building consent and planning permission. Between 1 January 1969 and 12 November 1980 it was possible, under Section 56(2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, for a planning permission to act as a listed building consent.  It should be noted, however, that Section 56(2) could only apply if the works were for alteration or extension of a listed building (i.e. that there were no works of demolition) and the planning permission or any condition subject to which it was granted was so framed as to specifically grant listed building consent and specify the works for which consent was granted. In the absence of a specific listed building consent, any works carried out in accordance with a planning permission granted between 1 January 1969 and 12 November 1980 which does not have wording in accordance with Section 56(2) will not have listed building consent.  Any person responsible for the carrying out of the unauthorised works would have committed an offence and would be liable to both legal action for the offence and listed building enforcement action. 

Question: Should I discuss my proposals with the Planning & Conservation Team before submitting an application for Listed Building Consent?

Answer : The Council processes about 500-600 applications for listed building consent and conservation area consent each year and approves most of them.  Advice to owners or developers and their professional agents is an important part of the listed building application process. Advice can be obtained by writing to the Planning & Conservation Team, Planning Services, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JG. Please provide as much detail as possible, this can include sketch plans and photographs. Please be aware there is a charge for this service and full details can be found here.

Question: How do I apply for listed building consent or conservation area consent?

Answer : Applications submitted to Bath & North East Somerset Council must be supplied on the Council's own application forms.  Before filling in the forms, please read the Council's Checklists for Applicants.  Downloadable application forms can be found on this website - in the Planning pages. Online submissions can also be made. It is most important that you supply adequate detail with your application.  In dealing with your application, Officers must be able to assess clearly the character, history and relative importance of the existing building and the precise details of your proposals to enable the effect of the proposed works to be appreciated fully.

Question: What penalties apply if works are started without a necessary listed building consent?

Answer : Any works carried out without a necessary listed building consent will immediately constitute a criminal offence.  Legal action can be taken against anybody who was responsible for the unauthorised works (this includes the owner, professional agent and contractor/s).  If convicted for an offence, significant fines or even imprisonment could result.  In addition to legal action for the offence, the Council can also take listed building enforcement action to ensure that works are carried out to restore the building to its former state or otherwise alleviate the effect of the unauthorised works.

Question: How am I affected if I purchase a listed building which has had unauthorised works carried out on it?

Answer : If you buy a property with unauthorised works, you become liable for any listed building enforcement action in connection with the unauthorised works.

Question: How do I appeal against a refusal of Listed Building Consent?

Answer: If you need to appeal against such a decision, then you should contact the Planning Inspectorate at the address below.

The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN

Tel: 0117 372 6372

Website: Planning Inspectorate

Links to further advice and guidance can be found on the right.

Note: This is an introductory guide and is not a definitive source of legal information.

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