How Should You Plan Any Listed Building Renovation?

Listed buildings are those which are protected, as they have a certain special historical or architectural interest. It is decided by Historic England, which is a public body responsible for protecting historic places of England.

You can find all listed buildings online, and the listing will describe all the aspects like architects specializing in listed buildings that are well-documented as heritage assets.


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Often this may include:

  • The surrounding grounds of that building
  • Details of all the perimeter walls and fences.

If you want to make any changes to such listed building, you have to apply to the concerned governing body who is responsible for Listed Building Consent, before you undertake any work being carried out.

The following are a few things to do before renovating any listed building:

1. Consider your vision for the home

There can be 2 approaches to consider while extending such listed buildings.

  • Do something totally different
  • Pay tribute to the existing design of the building.

English Heritage normally supports a contemporary approach while extending listed buildings. Their view is, any contemporary extension will allow a clearer interpretation of the new building versus the original building.

However, often local conservation officers will disagree, and that is where the negotiation skills of an experienced planning officer will help.

2. Ensure that you get the necessary permission

You will need planning permission also for the listed building too. Planning permission, however, is needed for all kinds of homes and it ensures that any development is going to be in line with local and national planning policies.

Listed building consent will be needed for all works, which can affect listed buildings. It mainly checks whether any works will have any effect on the historical interest of a building.

Usually, consent will be needed for work that is related to replacing doors and windows, removing internal walls, or changing fireplaces.


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The conservation officer of the local authority will advise in detail on where consent will be needed on your property. Each building will be individually judged, as no set rules exist for that.

3. Appoint an architect having experience in a historic building

The success of your project will totally depend on the experience and skills of those who are employed to work on it. Appointing the right architect is very important to this team.

You can seek a recommendation or if you are new in this business then this may not be the right option. The local conservation officer can help you in the proper direction so far as appointing any architects is concerned in your area.

Appointing an architect may sound like a basic thing, but ensure that you are comfortable with him and can discuss it with him openly.

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4. Create a team

You need to form a professional team from the planning stage itself.

Appoint a certain planning and heritage consultant to work with your architect.

The planning consultant may view your application from a planning angle, while a heritage consultant will offer invaluable advice on your plans that will work with such a heritage building.

For any larger project, you may consider hiring a certain quantity surveyor who will obtain tenders, estimate the cost of your building work, and deal with your financial control of contractual issues and building works.

5. Allow plenty of time

During the planning process, you may have to conduct many surveys and thereafter you can come out with detailed construction drawings.

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This will include:

  • Existing building-measured surveys
  • Quantity surveyors
  • Structural engineer’s reports.


Listed buildings are special buildings having architectural or historical importance and hence for any renovation, you need to get special clearance from the appropriate authorities, which requires plenty of time.

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