Listed buildings are special architecturally or historically. They are such an important part of our heritage that it is a crime to carry out works on one without first getting consent from the Council. Both the owner and the builder will be liable for unapproved works, and can be fined up to £20,000 for a single offence. All grades of listed buildings are equally protected.
Planners from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea are writing to all the borough’s listed homes this year. There are about 3,800 listed buildings in the Royal Borough as part of a list drawn up and managed by the government acting on advice from English Heritage.
When a property has listed status this means:
- The whole of the building is protected and specifically includes the inside as well as the outside and all architectural features and structures within the grounds.
- A listed building may not be demolished or altered in any way unless listed building consent has been obtained from the Royal Borough.
- That consent may be required for works of repair, cleaning or painting (or repainting of the interior or exterior).
A listed building does not necessarily have to be preserved exactly as it is, but alterations must respect the building’s historical and architectural importance.
Councillor Timothy Coleridge, Cabinet Member for Planning Policy, says: “Listed buildings come in all shapes and sizes ranging from the iconic Trellick Tower to a Holland Park Mews house. One thing they do have in common though is the responsibility for the owner to ensure they are properly looked after. This means there are tight rules governing what can and cannot be done inside and outside the building which often catches our residents out. To help, our planning enforcement team is embarking on a publicity campaign to help owners and householders avoid theses pitfalls, thereby preventing delays and unnecessary costs to residents.”
Owners are advised to seek advice from the Council’s planning officers before undertaking any work, starting with: www.rbkc.gov.uk/advice.
The Council also has a new webpage to help reduce unauthorised works and retain the borough’s heritage: www.rbkc.gov.uk/iliveinalistedbuilding.