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How to obtain Planning Permission Grant to Extend a Grade II Listed Property

There are approximately 500,000 listed buildings in England and Wales. Listed Buildings are of special architectural or historic interest, considered to be of national importance and therefore worth protecting. If you are planning to obtain a Grant of Permission for Grade II-listed property, then you'll probably have encountered a heritage officer who is eager to maintain and preserve the existing character and features of the building. If that's the case - then this article is for you.

There are three different grades for Listed Buildings:

  • Grade I Listed Buildings can be described as being of exceptional architectural and historic importance and are rare to find. Examples include The Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Only 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I.

  • Grade II* Listed Buildings are of particular national and architectural importance or special interest, they make up approximately 5.8% of all listed buildings.

  • Grade II Listed Buildings are of special interest and make up 91.7% of all listed buildings. It is mostly the residential homes that tend to fall within this category.

Listed building consent is required for any works of demolition, alteration or extension to a Listed Building. It does not automatically mean that work cannot be carried out on the building, it just means an application must be submitted and approved by the Local Authority.

Listed buildings can be altered, extended and sometimes even demolished within government planning guidance. The Local Authority uses listed building consent to make decisions that balance the site's historic significance against other issues, such as its function, condition or viability.

Let’s look at the process of altering your listed building from design through to consent.

Requirements for Making an Application to Alter a Grade II-listed Property

Paragraph 194 of the NPPF states clearly that any proposal to alter or extend a listed building must include a description of the heritage asset affected and the contribution of its setting. It is important to understand the degree of impact your proposal will have on a building or structure’s historical or cultural significance and therefore a relevant historic environment record should be consulted and the heritage assets are recommended to be assessed using appropriate expertise.

What to Include in your Listed Building Application

If you are planning to make only internal alterations to your Listed Property, you will be looking at submitting just one application – for a Listed Building Consent. However, if your case would to also add an extension to your property, you will need to apply for both Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent, which are separate applications.

The documents you will need must include:

  • A formal listed building consent application form (which you can get from any local authority)

  • A formal Planning Application form

  • Existing Plans and Elevations that clearly show the existing building or structure

  • Elevations and Plans of the proposed extension or alteration

  • A Heritage Impact Assessment

  • Any other documents of significance or documents requested by the LPA.

It is also important to remember that your Planning Application will have to meet all the local policies for extensions and alterations as well as the listed building requirements.

Design and Access Statement (DAS)

A well-prepared Design and Access Statements (DAS) is a valuable tool in persuading a Planning Officer of the quality of your project. Such statement report should help your designated Planning Officer to defend your project against any possible objections from the rest of the planning committee members.

Initially when the DAS was first introduced, it was seen as a way of ensuring that projects took design and accessibility more seriously and it was required for most Planning Applications. This changed in 2013, when the need for a DAS was limited to:

  • buildings of more than 1,000m2

  • housing developments of ten dwellings or more

  • any development requiring listed building consent

In conservation areas, the requirement for Design and Access Statement report applies to single dwellings and buildings of more than 100 m2.

Whilst getting your proposal approved, you must include as much detail about the building as possible, namely:

  • History of the property

  • Previous proposals to the development

  • Historical significance

  • A “treatment of features” (doors, windows etc.)

  • Landscaping

Schedule and Materials

A schedule of works should also be included in your DAS report, aside from the specification of materials that you intend to use. Whenever you are making changes to the original house, these materials should be of the finest quality in order to get approved - especially if you happen to have a demanding Conservation Officer assigned to your project.

A conservative approach in your application is fundamental to obtain the best outcome - so retaining as much of the significant historic fabric and keeping changes to a minimum are of key importance when carrying out repair works and alterations to historic buildings.

Your Local Authority wants to be reassured that you know exactly what you are doing, and that you have paid attention to the details in your project. The council will not want to sign off on anything that feels as it is indistinct or substandard.


Listing is not a preservation order, preventing change - it simply means that listed building consent must be applied for in order to make any changes to that building which might affect its special interest.

Just as our environment is constantly evolving, the historical properties should be continuously maintained for the future generations.

This can be achieved by adding value to a a building’s level of interest and cultural significance, its overall setting and contribution to the economic viability of the local area through a high-quality design work and the right approach.

With a careful, considerate design, and a correct understanding of the National Planning Policy Framework, there is no reason why you can’t alter a Grade II-listed property and obtain a Grant of Planning Permission in order to make your desirable changes.

Use Our Strategies to Double Your Chances for Altering your Listed Building

Our strong points include knowledge of all aspects of heritage design and planning permission for listed buildings applications.

We can help you obtain your Listed Building Consent to alter your property today.

Our in-house planners will show you how to quickly develop strategies that can help you get the approval of your Council. We will also guide you through the entire process to ensure that your listed property is maintained to the highest standard. Call us on 02030 265 148 or email me today

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