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Properties Articles

Understanding Listed Building - Grade I, Grade II*, Grade II

Published: 18/04/2022 By Mathilda Boyle

There are many reasons a building may retain a listing, including special historical / cultural / architectural interest, if it deemed important or worth protecting.

Owning a property with a listing can seem fairly daunting but there is a lot to understand before making this conclusion. There are three grades of listing that can be provided to a building:

Grade I - Buildings considered of national importance and outstanding architectural or historical interest
Grade II* - Buildings that have some special merit, such as an exceptional interior
Grade II - Buildings of particular interest

This listing will include the interiors, exterior, any attached structure & the land surrounding. Sometimes any structures located on the surrounding land will also be covered under this listing. This can include external walls, gates, garden features etc. It is important to understand everything that is listed under the entry before making any alterations to a property.

A grade listing does not simply prohibit any changes to a property, obviously buildings of a certain age do require preservation and / or maintenance. To make changes to the building that could affect the appearance, structure or design, the owner of the property needs to apply for written consent before completing works.

Listed buildings should be treated with a heightened sense of care and respect in order to protect the age and history within the property. Whilst the majority of repairs on the building should utilised similar materials and techniques of the original structure, it is not impossible to modernise a listed building.

Previously the aim was to imitate the original period building, seamlessly blending the old and new. However, planners now see the benefit of more distinction; allowing for extensions and alternations using modern materials to complement the old and produce a sense of divisional unity.

It is important to consult a professional and receive relevant permissions when looking to make alternations or changes to a listed property as every building is different. Some may even include bathroom fittings within their listing, or historical wall paint.