Listed buildings

Page updated on: 11/02/2019

We provide expert advice on the 1,800 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. 

  • 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.

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. Both CADW and ourselves can help protect these valuable assets for present and future generations - thus preserving the heritage of West Wales.

You will need consent for the following: 

  • 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.
  • 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. You may need consent for any works to separate buildings within the grounds of a listed building.

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. 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.

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.

If you carry out any work without consent 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.

Apply for listed building consent