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What Does Grade 1 Listed Mean?

You may have heard of 'listed buildings' but what does Grade 1 listed mean? In simple terms, if a building is Grade 1 listed it is deemed to be of exceptional interest and may also have been judged to be of significant national importance. Grade 1 listing is usually reserved for much older and historically-important buildings, such as cathedrals, castles, towers and town halls. At the time of writing there are around 6,000 Grade I listed buildings throughout England and Wales.

Here are a few examples of Grade 1 listed buildings in the United Kingdom;

  • Albert Dock, Liverpool
  • The Palace of Westminster, London
  • Royal Albert Hall, London
  • Royal Festival Hall, London (the first Grade I-listed post-war building)
  • York Minster
  • Blackpool Tower
  • Leeds Town Hall
  • Albert Dock, Liverpool
  • Warwick Castle, Warwick (Warwickshire)
  • Dock Tower, Grimsby
  • Lilford Hall, Northamptonshire

So what specifically does Grade 1 listed mean if you intend to purchase or renovate a property? The restrictions on Grade 1 listed buildings can differ somewhat, so it's vitally important to obtain exact property information before you make a purchase or plan any upgrades to a building.

All Grade 1 listed properties have a number of limits - you will need to apply for building permission if you intend to demolish a listed building or if you want to extend or alter a listed building in a way that will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. In some cases, you may also require building permission for any works you intend to carry out on other buildings, within the grounds of a listed building.

If you are unsure as to the exact grade of a property, you can check to see if the building is listed on the National Heritage database. For reference purposes only, following are a few examples of alterations that can be restricted on Grade 1 listed buildings; new windows, roof alterations, exterior cladding, extensions, alterations & improvements and full/partial demolition. Please note: this list is not exhaustive and your local planning authority are best placed to advise you about any building-specific limitations and procedures that must be followed.

It's essential to check whether or not a property is listed before you purchase it and/or prior to planning any work on a building. It's also important to note that a Grade 1 listing is different to a Grade 2 listed building.



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