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Listed buildings

Listed buildings are buildings or structures which are considered to be of national ‘special architectural or historic interest’. Listed buildings are designated nationally and are protected under the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. This protection means that works to listed buildings are subject to additional controls, including internal works.

There are over 800 listed buildings within the St Albans District.

Listed Buildings are graded:

  • Grade I are of exceptional interest

  • Grade II* are particularly important buildings of more than special interest.

  • Grade II are of special interest and every effort should be made to preserve them

For information on locally listed buildings please click here

How and when buildings are listed Toggle accordion

The list of listed buildings is part of the National Heritage List for England. This national list is maintained by the Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports on recommendations from Historic England.

Historic England assess applications for listing. If you wish to suggest a building for listing you can do this online through the Historic England website. You can also use the online form to apply to amend or remove existing entries from the list.

Buildings and structures are listed for a variety of reasons, although all are considered to have special architectural and/or historic interest. The older a building is, and the fewer the surviving examples of its kind, the more likely it is to be listed. There are specific considerations for listing depending on the building type, from residential buildings, to industrial buildings and even street furniture. Historic England produce guides to the selection criteria used for listing assessment which are available on their website.

Find out if a building is listed Toggle accordion

You can find out if a building is listed through the Council's District Mapping Service, your my St Albans account or through the Historic England website.

List descriptions are available through Historic England. The district mapping service also provides links to the relevant listing description.

Please note the polygons on district mapping service do not always accurately represent the extent of listing.

What part of the building is protected? Toggle accordion

When a building is listed the whole building is protected. This includes the outside, inside, internal features and any later additions. The listing description given on Historic England’s website is only for identification purposes only.

Any structure which is within the curtilage of a listed building which dates prior to 1 July 1948 and any object or structure attached to a listed building may be considered to be curtilage listed. This includes boundary and garden walls and gates. Curtilage listed buildings and structures have the same level of protection as the listed building itself. It is advisable to check with the conservation officer if you are planning works which may involve curtilage listed structures and buildings.

Works to listed buildings Toggle accordion

Listed Building Consent is needed before carrying out any works that will affect the special character of a listed building. Listed building consent enables the local planning authority to make decisions that balance the site's significance against other issues in order to help conserve what makes them special.

There is no fee for submitting a listed building consent application or for discharging any relevant conditions attached to a listed building consent.

Some typical works which would require listed building consent include:

  • Extensions

  • Changing windows or doors

  • Putting in dormer windows or roof lights

  • Installing satellite dishes and burglar alarms

  • Altering internal walls or sub-dividing rooms

  • Any alterations to features like fireplaces and cornicing

  • Painting the exterior of the building, if unpainted or painting a different colour.

  • Alterations to buildings or structures within the garden including boundary walls and fences (if built before 1948)

Due to the unique nature of listed buildings it is not possible for the Design and conservation Team to advise you over the phone on whether any proposal would be granted listed building consent. For detailed advice the Council offers a chargeable pre-application advice service before the submission of an application.

As unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence, it is recommended that you check with the design and conservation team if you are unsure whether or not you require listed building consent.

If you wish to have formal confirmation that the works you are proposing do not require listed building consent you can apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Works to a Listed Building.

Historic England offer advice on general principles for common types of alterations which can be found here.

Repairs to listed buildings

All buildings need repair at some time. Like-for-like repairs are encouraged and small-scale like-for-like repairs do not normally need consent. However deciding what a major or minor repair is can be difficult.

As most buildings are listed because they have historic fabric, repairs that entail the replacing or rebuilding of larger sections of the original fabric may need Consent. If you need to replace features or building element which are of high significance for example rotten plates, posts and studs in a timber-framed building, repairs are likely to need listed building consent. It is usual a matter of degree and we would recommend that you check with the design and conservation team if your repair would be considered to be a small scale like-for-like repair.

Unauthorised works to listed buildings

Unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence.

You could be liable to prosecution and/or be made to rectify any works which are conducted without listed building consent. The maximum penalty for unauthorised works to a listed building includes fines or imprisonment. Therefore, it is important to get it right and make an application for all the relevant works to your listed building.

If you wish to report suspected unauthorised works to a listed building please click here to contact the Planning Enforcement team.