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Listed buildings

Listedbuildings

We provide expert advice on the 1800 listed buildings in the County - these range from small farmhouses to stately homes.

Buildings are 'Listed' because they are considered to be of special architectural or historic interest and as a result require special protection.

Listing protects the whole building both inside and out and possibly also adjacent buildings if they were erected before 1st July 1948. 

The prime purpose is to protect the building and its surroundings from changes, which will materially alter the special historic or architectural importance of the building or its setting.

Listing is intended to ensure on-going care and protection for important buildings. The requirement to obtain "Listed Building Consent" is a safeguard to ensure that the special character of a building is fully taken into account when proposals to carry out alteration, extension or demolition works are being considered.

Rather than preventing change, it seeks to ensure that all works are sympathetic to the building's special character.

Listed Building Consent is processed without charge by the Council but does not remove the need to obtain planning permissions or building regulation approval where necessary.

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest. Only about 2% of Listed Buildings are in this category
  • Grade II* buildings are of particular importance. Around 4% of Listed Buildings are in this category.
  • Grade II buildings are of special interest. 94% of Listed Buildings are covered by this Grade.

All buildings erected prior to 1700 and substantially intact are listed, as are most buildings constructed between 1700 and 1840, although some selection does take place.

The selection process is more discriminating for buildings erected since 1840 because so many more properties remain today. 

Buildings less than 30 years old are generally only listed if they are of particular architectural or historic value and are potentially under threat.

If you are the owner of a Listed Building or come into possession of one, you are tasked with ensuring that the property is maintained in a reasonable state of repair.

There is no statutory duty to effect improvements, but you must not cause the building to fall into any worse state than it was in when you became its' owner. This may necessitate some works, even if they are just to keep the building wind and watertight. However, you may need listed building consent in order to carry these works out.

We may take legal action against you if we have cause to believe that you are deliberately neglecting the property, or have carried out works without consent. Enforcement action may be instigated.

A photographic record of the property when it came into your possession may be a useful asset, although you may also have inherited incomplete or unimplemented works from your predecessor, which you will become liable for.

If you are selling a Listed Building you may wish to indemnify yourself against future claims, we recommend that you speak to your solicitor.

Should you receive any formal notice from us you should take professional advice immediately, as time limits for remedial actions will have been established. Failure to act could result in us taking action through the courts.

The owners of a listed building are responsible for its good maintenance and repair. Failure to meet this requirement may result in us serving "Repairs Notices", specifying works which need to be done in order to preserve the building and prevent further deterioration. Further deliberate neglect could result in a Compulsory Purchase Order.

Unauthorised alteration or demolition work to a listed building may result in us taking legal action. Prosecution can follow, often leading to fines or imprisonment. In addition, enforcement action can be taken to reverse unauthorised works.

The repair and alteration of listed buildings requires specialist knowledge. Much time and effort can be saved by pre-application discussions with our Conservation staff  and, where appropriate, the appointment of a professional architect with experience of historic building work.

Consent is required for all proposals, however minor or apparently insignificant which would affect the character of any part of the interior or exterior of a listed building.

Buildings are listed in their entirety and it is an offence to commence alteration, extension or demolition work without consent.

Like for like repair does not require consent, nor does external redecoration to the same colour scheme. However, it is advisable to contact our conservation team  to check whether consent is required before any work commences.

The general approach to listed building repair and alteration should seek to recognise the reasons for, and the quality of, traditional construction details, materials and design.

While sympathetic responses may sometimes be more costly in the short term (possibly offset by grant aid), they will ensure the character of the building is maintained and the nature of their materials and construction respected.

Although some ancillary buildings and structures will be considered to fall squarely within the "curtilage" of a listed building (whether specifically mentioned in the Statutory List or not), other developments may be considered to affect its "setting".

"Setting" may be affected, for example, by proposals for free standing buildings within garden-ground, alterations to walls or approaches, sightlines to or from the building and associated landscaping. A consent, or permission, may be required in these instances.

You will need consent for:

  • Where your proposal does not directly affect the Listed building but is close enough to potentially affect the 'setting' of a listed building. Your proposal may need to be sympathetically altered to suit the circumstances
  • Demolition of all or part of a Listed Building (including buildings and structures in the curtilage)
  • Alterations (including internal works) which affect the character of the building
  • Extensions
  • Repairs which involve replacing important parts of the building's fabric, or using different materials (such as replacing a slate roof with tiles).
  • Listed Building Consent may also be necessary for a change of use of the property.
  • Works such as re-pointing and even repainting can give rise to the need for Listed Building Consent, even if planning permission is not necessary. Replacement windows and doors are common areas of controversy and strict control.

An application for listed building consent is a process that ensures that both CADW and ourselves can help protect these valuable assets for present and future generations - thus preserving the heritage of West Wales.

You can download an application form for listed building consent or contact your local planning department.

If you need planning permission for your intended proposal then the two applications can be submitted together.

There is no fee for the listed building consent application.

The application will be considered in the same way as a normal planning application and we will approve, approve with conditions or refuse the application.

There are the same rights to appeal against a refusal or conditions as for other planning applications.

When a building is listed, it is an offence to carry out works to the building, which affect its architectural or historic interest without the approval of the Planning Division.

You could be liable to prosecution, and/or be made to rectify what you have done.  The maximum penalty could include imprisonment and unlimited fines.

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Page updated on: 02/06/2017

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