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Listed Buildings

What is a listed building?

A listed building is a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest recognised by central government as being worthy of protection. A listed building is included on the National Heritage List for England which is compiled by the Secretary for Culture, Media and Sport with advice from Historic England.

There are over 3000 listed buildings in Ashford. Our Interactive Map shows the location of all the listed buildings within the borough based on a postcode search, enabling you to find out if your building is listed.

Listed buildings are divided into three categories:

Listed Building Grading Criteria
Grade Criteria
Grade I Buildings of exceptional interest
Grade II* Buildings of more than special interest
Grade II Buildings of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them. These form the majority of listed buildings in the borough

What does the listing cover?

All list entries include a 'list description' of the building; however, this is only intended to aid identification and in some instances can be very short and may only mention the front of the building. In fact, the listed status of a building actually includes all of the internal and external fabric of the building. The absence of any feature of the building from the list description does not indicate that it is of no architectural or historic interest or that it may be removed or altered without consent.

Also protected is:

  • Any object or structure fixed to the listed buildings and any structure (built before 1948) within the grounds (officially called the 'curtilage') of the listed building
  • Curtilage is not defined by boundaries
  • Curtilage listed buildings can include outbuildings, garden walls and other boundary structures, gates and, in some cases, even brick paths and terraces and statuary

We can advise you whether or not your outbuilding or structure is curtilage listed.

What is listed building consent?

Listed Building Consent is necessary for any works (both external and internal) which:

  1. Would affect the special interest of the listed building
  2. Would affect the appearance of the listed building
  3. Repairs (in certain circumstances)

It is a criminal offence to carry out works to a listed building without first obtaining consent, even if you did not know it was listed. Unauthorised works can lead to prosecution of the owner and the person carrying out the works.

Do I need listed building consent?

The council is not currently providing pre-application advice in respect of any works requiring listed building consent (this includes paid advice), but is currently reviewing this position. There is of course advice that can be sought outside of the council through Conservation Architects and Conservation Practices and we would urge you to seek such advice before applying for listed building consent or carrying out any works to your listed building.

You may also find the following links helpful if you are looking for accredited heritage professionals and/or architects and specialist contractors:

What if I need to carry out emergency work to a listed building?

You should contact us immediately if damage has occurred or emergency works are required. We will then decide if Listed Building Consent is needed or go through the options available to you.

Planning permission and listed buildings

Listed buildings do not enjoy the same permitted development rights as unlisted buildings. This means that planning permission as well as Listed Building Consent may be required for certain works which would otherwise be classed as permitted development for an unlisted building.

Listed Building supplementary advice

Historic England offer free technical guidance documents on a wide range of heritage related topics which is regularly updated.

The Society for Protection of Historic Buildings provide a free technical advice line open to anyone with a technical enquiry relating to historic buildings.

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