Listed Kent – Renovating A Listed Building
If you are considering buying or renovating a listed building, make sure you are aware of all the restrictions that could affect your plans. The Listed Property Owners’ Club which is based in Kent but offers advice and assistance to people all over the country has some particularly useful advice.
Peter Bell, conservation advisor for the LPOC, says; “There are approximately half a million listed homes in the UK, all of which are subject to strict regulations on planning and alterations. While the majority of buyers enter listed property ownership with their eyes open to these issues, it is The Listed Property Owners’ Club’s mission to help our members navigate these restrictions in the context of their own homes and renovation projects.”
“We don’t believe that buildings are listed to be fossilised. Sensitive alterations and extensions can help buildings adapt to serve new purposes and support modern lifestyles. Well considered conservation and alteration proposals can add to and sustain our heritage for this and future generations.”
OBTAINING THE APPROPRIATE PERMISSIONS AND EXPERT ADVICE
Listed building consent is required for all demolition, alteration or extension which affect the special architectural or historic character of a listed building or a curtilage listed building. Some projects will also require planning permission and building regulation approval as well as listed building consent. Applications are made to the local planning authority who will expect the applicant to demonstrate that the special character and significance of the listed building will not be harmed. All but minor applications are likely to require the services of an architect or surveyor. Details of how to apply, application forms and guidance notes on the level of information that is required to accompany an application are available on the council’s website or on the national Planning Portal.
Our team of experts includes in-house Conservation Advisors who are available for similar discussions and are all included within the membership fee. They can act as impartial sounding boards operating on the basis of “if it was on my patch I would suggest”. This is a very popular service offered by the club and provides owners the opportunity of getting totally independent advice from conservation professionals.
When choosing an architect and tradesmen for your project, is it vital to work with ones that understands listed properties and how best to sensitively develop them for 21st century living.
USING THE RIGHT MATERIALS FOR YOUR LISTED BUILDING REPAIR
Serious damage has been caused in the past by the indiscriminate use of inappropriate materials for restoration and conservation work to listed buildings. The wrong materials can be visually damaging but they can also cause damp problems and result in rapid deterioration and decay of important historic fabric.
DON’T START A PERIOD PROPERTY RENOVATION WITHOUT PROPER INSURANCE
If you decide to take on the responsibility of owning and renovating a listed building, make sure that you are supported and covered by comprehensive listed building insurance. It is important to find a policy which will cover you both during the renovation and after, so that if there are any issues with the work carried out, you and your property are protected. Taking the time to select the right contractors and suppliers will, of course, reduce the chance of any issues occurring during your period of ownership, and hopefully long into the future.