How to apply for Listed Building Planning Consent
Buildings are listed as a protection measure, to mark them out as worthy of special consideration. It follows therefore that any alterations to the building have to be approved by the body which is responsible for approving building planning; this is your local authority.
The most important step before you do anything else is to give consideration to the nature of the building you wish to alter. If the building is currently sound but you want to change its character and remove some of its features you will probably not be successful in your listed building planning application.
However the local authority does take into account some other factors. If the building is in need of repair, the authority will take into account the affordability of making the repair to the original specification compared to any reasonable, affordable alternative. If your proposed alterations preserve the character of the building while making the changes, your application may be successful. You should also have regard to particular features of your building. If it is period fireplaces that make the building stand out, applying to remove the fireplaces will probably not be successful.
A discussion with the Conservation officer from your local authority should provide you with some guidance on changes that may, or may not, be allowed. The Conservation office will tell you if an application is necessary, but this is nearly always the case as the designation ‘listed’ covers the exterior and interior of the building, including knocking down internal walls and removal of internal features.
They should also be able to advise you of changes to make to your plans to make the application more likely to succeed.
Once you have received guidance you can obtain an application form online from your local authority. The local authority should provide a decision within 13 weeks, hopefully 8 weeks for smaller scale plans. As part of the application there will be a 21 day period where interested parties, including your neighbours, are able to make objections to the plans.
If your building is Grade I listed or grade 2*, or if your plans include demolition, the application will be referred to English Heritage. English Heritage aim to turn round their response to the application in 21 days. They publish the factors they take into account on their website. Full specification plans will be necessary for these applications. Professional reports detailing the reasons for the alterations to your listed building will need to be provided, including the extent of any repairs necessary. Full details of the reports and plans which should accompany your application can be found on the English Heritage website.
If your application for listed building planning consent is turned down, you will be given reasons for the decision. You can then appeal to the Secretary of State responsible for planning, or change your plans to take into account the reasons given and re-apply.