How can Baxter Green Architects help WITH LISTED BUILDING PROJECTS?

The appointment of professionals and contractors with heritage experience is essential. As listed building specialists Baxter Green Architects have extensive knowledge and experience working with listed properties to help navigate through the processes from design, planning through to completion. We have undertaken numerous projects of varying sizes and complexities obtaining listed building consents, providing historical research, specifications and monitoring works on site.

It is important to note that buildings which are listed include the interior, exterior, grounds and aspects that are within the curtilage at the date of listing. Undertaking projects on listed buildings requires extra consideration for the planning consent including renovation and maintenance work. As listed building architects we are keen to undertake all types and scale of projects including advice to deal with unauthorised works.

Unauthorised work to a listed building is work undertaken after the listing date without planning permission or listed building consent. Owners of properties inherit the liability of any work undertaken without consent by previous owners after this date. There is no time limit on any enforcement action for these unauthorised works so care should be given when purchasing a listed building.

Possible things to check prior to purchasing a listed building
  • Request confirmation from the vendors what alterations have taken place. If windows look new and replaced, new joinery, staircases etc then this is a good place to start with questions. Your solicitor will undertake this formally as part of the exchange.
  • Undertake a quick planning search on the Council’s website. This will also show if any applications have been refused.
  • Contact the Council’s Building Control Department for a search of any record of works.
  • Initially historical research for maps and photographs.
  • Search the national register for the properties listing on Historic England website. The listing does not just identify the elements that are protected, the entire property and curtilage is covered by its listing. It is often mistakenly thought that parts not included on the listing mean those are not protected.
  • All grades of listing are afforded the same protection and unauthorised works can lead to prosecution.
  • Often building insurance will be higher due to the cost of rebuilding works.
How to avoid problems with works to listed buildings
  • Undertaking some historical research at the start of the project can often result in time well spent to both inform the design and present sufficient analysis within the listed building consent application.
  • With works involving roof spaces or demolitions advice should be sought regarding ecology surveys. The surveys are required to be undertaken at certain times of the year so this may have an implication of the project design but also the timescale.
  • Detailed drawings and specifications are essential post planning to provide sufficient instruction to the builders. These may include joinery details and construction details to illustrate the scope of works and specifications for technical information such as mortar mixes.
  • Selecting the right contractor is essential to ensure the right level of experience on site with specialist tradesmen and sub-contractor companies.
  • Works to listed buildings will also require consideration for health and safety regulations. Through many of our projects we are engaged as the principal designer to consider these aspects.
  • Take a regular photographic record of the works for future use. Sometimes historical features are covered up, but preserved, with new works and records can help for future projects or owners.
  • The timescale for working on listed buildings can take longer both for the initial planning work but also on site. Renovation of listed buildings can be a complex process and can result in discoveries during the works that will need to be resolved and formally dealt with.