We maintain a local list of buildings, where special considerations are given when planning applications are submitted.
What is a listed building?
A listed building is a building of special architectural or historic interest. This can also include other structures such as telephone boxes, statues and street lamps. Generally, listed buildings will be at least 30 years old and all buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition will normally be listed. There are more than 400 listed buildings in Leicester.
Buildings on the list are graded to reflect their relative architectural and historic interest. Buildings of historic interest may justify a higher grading than would otherwise be appropriate. Most listed buildings are graded within three categories:
- Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest.
- Grade II* ('2-star') buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
- Grade II buildings are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.
What is protected?
When a building is listed, protection extends to the whole of the outside and inside of the building; to any object or structure fixed to it, for instance fireplaces or an applied work of art; and to any object or structure within the curtilage of the building, even if not physically fixed to the main building itself, which could include outbuildings and boundary walls and railings.
The list description may not mention all protected features, particularly on older listings. Because a feature or interior of the building is not mentioned in the official description, it does not mean that it is not important nor that it is not protected by law.
Altering a listed building
Listing does not seek to prevent all changes to a building. The prime objective of listing is to protect a building from demolition and unsympathetic alterations. If you wish to demolish a listed building, or to make any alterations, internal or external, which materially affect its character, you must first obtain listed building consent.
Examples of alterations requiring consent include:
- Additions and extensions (including conservatories)
- New and replacement features, for instance doors, windows and gutters
- New roofing materials
- Cleaning, rendering and painting external walls
- Removal of internal and external features, for instance chimney stacks, fireplaces, floors, walls and decorative plasterwork
- Works to outbuildings, boundary walls or railings.
It is a criminal offence to carry out works which affect the special character of a listed building without consent. If you carry out unauthorised works, you could face a heavy fine or even imprisonment. You can also be required to reinstate the building to its former condition.
Applications for consent should be made to us, although in some cases they will be referred to the Secretary of State. Please contact our planning service to discuss any proposals or proposed applications affecting listed buildings.
Write to us: Planning, Leicester City Council, City Hall, 115 Charles Street, Leicester, LE1 1FZ
Ring us on: 0116 454 1000
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