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What can I do to a listed building?


A listed building must be kept it in good repair. The Council has powers to take action against owners whose listed property is in disrepair. Financial aid from English Heritage may be available to help you, but only for the higher Grades II* and I.

Repair of fabric is generally preferable to replacement. Replacement like-for-like (as for windows, doors, gutters, etc.) does not normally need listed building consent. If unsuitable insertions have been made in the past (e.g. doors and windows) the opportunity exists for reinstatement of original styles.

What about windows?

Windows are often a significant indicator of the quality and interest of a listed building. It is important that any replacement is in keeping with the building.

Previously replaced windows of unsuitable design can be replaced correctly. Remember that the wood that was used in the past was of a far better quality than most wood obtainable today, so repairs are preferable. UPVC is discouraged.

Double-glazing is now, in general, obligatory for replacement windows under Part L of the Building Regulations. However, these regulations take into account the need to retain traditional windows and window forms in historic buildings and concessions are normally capable of being negotiated.


A listed building may not be altered without listed building consent. The extent and type of alteration that would be permitted for both internal and external works depends on the individual building and its characteristics. Any alteration that affects the appearance or structure of a listed building, or which changes the building materials used, normally requires listed building consent.

Such alterations include:

  • extensions
  • any demolition
  • new and replacement windows and doors
  • roof-lights
  • new roofing materials
  • new rendering and re-rendering
  • painting external walls
  • removal of chimneys, fireplaces, floors, doors and windows
  • work to garden walls, railings and curtilage buildings

It is an offence to carry out any work to a listed building that is not authorised. Where unauthorised works have taken place the owner can be required to reinstate the building to its former state.

If considering any alteration, it is advisable to consult the Planning Department.


The quality of workmanship, methods, materials and details is especially important for listed buildings.

Poor craftsmanship and materials can not only shorten the life of the work, they can harm the building physically as well as being detrimental to its appearance.


Last updated: ‎21‎/‎10‎/‎2020‎