Gaining Building Consent
If you are planning any works on a listed building including alterations, extensions, improvements or the demolition of structure - you will need find out about gaining building consent. Building consent is required for any work that may affect the appearance or character of a building, in particular those properties that are of historical or special architectural interest.
Building consent may also be required if you intend to implement repairs to listed buildings, or any buildings within the protected grounds of any such properties, even if planning permission is not required for the project. It is deemed to be a criminal offence to carry out works on a listed building without first obtaining consent.
So how do you go about gaining building consent? Initially, you will need to make an application to your local planning and control department. Generally speaking, there is no fee for building consent applications and full notes and application forms can be obtained from your local government office of website.
In your application you will need to provide a number of details about your project. You will be asked to submit a detailed, scaled drawing and floor plans of the existing property layout - and the same information for your intended plans. In the majority of cases, a scale of 1:50 will suffice, though it is worth checking with your local planning department for clarification. Generally speaking, any smaller alterations, such as the installation of new windows, will require drawings of a larger scale i.e. 1:10 or 1:5.
During the applications stage, you will be asked to justify your proposals by submitting a Design and Access Statement and Heritage Statement. You can find more details about the information required in the statements on your application form and in any associated notes. You will be asked to provide details about the materials you will be using (i.e. brick, stone) and the inclusion of photographs identifying the sections to be repaired/removed can be useful to help with the assessment of your application.
Once submitted, your application will be considered, and the eventual effect on the building will be assessed. Consent is generally not given if the intended works are likely to have a negative or adverse affect on a building, or if they are likely to disturb the architectural or historic character of the property.
If building consent is refused, you will have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State for re-consideration. It is worth noting that even if building consent is granted, it may have attached conditions. To this end, it's vital to receive building consent before you commence with any works on a property, as restrictions may apply.