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Listed Buildings

A listed building is a property or structure that is acknowledged to be of special architectural or historic importance. Properties are listed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and placed on a national register held by English Heritage, in order to protect and preserve both their interior and exterior for future generations and to maintain cultural identity.

Historic buildings are part of a country's rich heritage, in Britain the registering of such properties originated from the 1950s, in response to destructive bomb damage during World War Two.

Buildings can be listed for a variety of reasons, age and historical and architectural characteristics are of primary importance but also a property is significant if it played an important part of a famous person's life, career or development. Structures other than buildings can also be listed, such as bridges, monuments and even docks. Any original building that dates before 1700 will be found on the listed building register and the majority of buildings that were built between 1700 and 1840 will also be listed.

The listed building register consists of three main categories or grades:

Grade 1

- Buildings of exceptional interest or of international importance.

Grade 2*

- Particularly important examples of more than special interest.

Grade 2

- Special interest of national importance, utilising every effort to preserve them.

Owners of listed buildings are required to obtain consent from a Conservation Officer via the Local District Council, in order to carry out any building work or alteration to their property, especially if this work alters the original character of the building. Any unauthorised changes could lead to significant fines or in even in certain cases a term of imprisonment. Local authorities can sometimes serve an enforcement notice to ensure property owners restore a listed building to its former state, if unauthorised alterations have been undertaken. Owners are also liable to restore or repair any alterations made by previous owners, if planning permission was not previously sought or granted.

 

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