Things to consider when buying a listed property.
Making a historic building your home is a truly wonderful thing, there are just a few details to be mindful of before making that commitment.
Buildings of special architectural interest are protected by being listed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport under the Planning (listed buildings and conservation areas) Act 1990, on advice from Historic England. You can search the list here https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/
There are over half a million listed buildings in England, these are broken down into 3 categories - Grade I, Grade II* and Grade II. Grade I listed buildings are dealt with by Historic England, Grade II* and Grade II are dealt with by the local authority planning and conservation departments on behalf of Historic England.
There is a common misconception with listed buildings that it's 'just the front elevation' or 'just the outside' which is covered by the listing. This is entirely incorrect, all listed buildings, irrespective of their grade, are protected inside and out, including all permanent structures within the curtilage (land attached to the property).
While this may seem daunting, you should bear in mind that the purpose of listing, is not to 'freeze a building in time' but simply to protect the special characteristics which make it worthy of being listed. While any works to the structure, will likely require listed building consent, decorative and minor maintenance works would generally not.
It's worth engaging the services of a surveyor with experience of listed buildings when purchasing your new home. The structure will be very different to that of a modern house! You will also need to ensure that your insurance company have an accurate rebuild figure as this is very likely to exceed the purchase price.
Should you be planning to undertake any major works to your home, we would recommend seeking guidance from your conservation officer at the outset to ascertain what is likely to be acceptable. Like you, your conservation officer will be passionate about your home and you will need to work together to safeguard its future.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding one of our listed properties, then please don't hesitate to get in touch with Ryan at our office, he has extensive experience of developing listed buildings and would very much welcome your call!