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Conservation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Listed Buildings

What is a listed building?

A 'listed building' is a building, object or structure that has been judged to be of national or even international importance in terms of its architectural or historic interest. The List compiled by the Secretary of State includes a wide variety of structures, from castles and cathedrals to milestones and water pumps.

Who decides which buildings are included on the list?

Anyone can propose a building to be included as part of the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. However, the ultimate decision lies with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS), under the provisions of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

If you want to nominate a building for listing then you can apply for a listing.

What can be listed?

The older a building is, and the fewer the surviving examples of its kind, the more likely a building is to be listed. The general principles are that all buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are likely to be listed, as are most buildings built between 1700 and 1850. Particularly careful selection is required for buildings from the period after 1945. Buildings less than 30 years old are not normally considered to be of special architectural or historic interest because they have yet to stand the test of time.

How are listed buildings graded?

"Principles of Selection for Listed Buildings", Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2010 updated November 2018, is the criteria used to grade entries according to their significance.

Grade I - exceptional interest. 2.5% of listed buildings are Grade I

Grade II* - more than special interest. 5.5% of listed buildings are Grade II*

Grade II - special interest. 92% of all listed buildings are Grade II

What is the extent of the protection of a listed building?

The whole of any principal building is listed, including the interior. Objects, structures and buildings affixed to a listed building, or within its curtilage, may also be protected by listing. A list description is used purely to identify the building and therefore may only describe a single elevation of a building. Simply because the interior of a building is not mentioned in its list description does not mean it is not protected. The listing applies to and protects, the whole building inside and out and relevant curtilage structures, even if they are not mentioned in the list description.

What is curtilage?

In general, any pre-1948 structure that formed part of the land and was in the curtilage of the principal listed building at the date of listing and is ancillary to the principal building is considered to be part of the listing. More information relating to curtilage can be found on Listed Buildings and Other Designated Heritage Assets.

How does listing protect the building?

The law requires Listed Building Consent to be applied for and approved by the Local Planning Authority before carrying out any works to alter, extend or demolish the listed building (inclusive of fixture and curtilage), in a way that will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

When is a listed building offence committed?

It is a criminal offence not to seek consent when it is required.

What works require Listed Building Consent?

Each listed building is different therefore it can be very difficult to define what works will require Listed Building Consent. In all cases, we suggest you take advice from the Councils Planning Service.

Any works, which will affect the buildings character, as a building of special interest, will require Listed Building Consent. This can include works such as: the removal of all or part, or alteration to, interior features such as fireplaces, staircases, fitted cupboards, original cornices, joinery, floor boards and tiles; making new openings in walls; removing walls; subdividing rooms; and altering or replacing windows and doors or roof coverings. In some instances decorative finishes form part of the buildings character and therefore redecoration or works which may cause damage to these, may require consent. This is not an exhaustive list and is an indication only.

Can I carry out repairs to a Listed Building without consent?

Repairs generally do not require Listed Building Consent, unless they include alterations. Repairs must be carried out carefully using appropriate materials and techniques. You may be asked for a specification to ensure the methods and materials proposed are appropriate. The method and scale of works proposed will inform the Council's decision to whether or not the works requires Listed Building Consent.

The principles of repair should always be to carry out regular maintenance rather than leave until it requires repair, understand the significance and sequence of change, respect the buildings patina, carry out minimum works required, and use appropriate materials and proven methods.  Due to the potential complexity of arranging works to a listed building, it is also advisable to employ conservation-accredited professionals.

You should always check with the Council's Planning Service before you start a project on a listed building. Even if you think it is very minor it could still need consent.

What are the consequences of not gaining Listed Building Consent?

A person who is guilty of an offence under section 9(4) shall be liable - on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or a fine not exceeding £20,000, or both; or on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine, or both.

What if I was unaware that the building was listed?

Not knowing a building is listed is not a defence. This again highlights the importance of discussing any proposal with the Planning Service prior to works being carried out.

What if I have already contacted the Council?

Listed Building Consent is not the same as Planning Permission or Building Regulations Approval. Even though you may have obtained other permissions and approvals, if the work requires Listed Building Consent, you cannot carry out works until Listed Building Consent is obtained. To obtain this you will need to contact the Council's Planning Service.

Scheduled Monuments

What is a Scheduled Monument?

Scheduled Monuments also known as Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) are nationally and internationally important archaeological sites which are protected from damage and development by the Ancient Monuments and Areas Act 1979.

What do I do if I want to carry out works to a Scheduled Monument?

Before carrying out any work to a Scheduled Monument you will need to contact Historic England directly to obtain Scheduled Monument Consent from Historic England.

Registered Parks and Gardens

What is a Registered Park and Garden?

The Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England is similar to the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest but applies to parks and gardens rather than structures. The register is compiled and maintained by Historic England according to the National Heritage Act 1983.

Registered Battlefields

What is a Registered Battlefield?

The register was established in 1995. Unlike listed buildings, Registered Battlefields are not graded according to their relative significance. Its purpose is to offer protection through the planning system, and to promote a better understanding of their significance and public enjoyment. In many cases, battlefields are the final resting place for thousands of unknown soldiers, whose lives were sacrificed in making history. These historic assets are an intrinsic part of a nation's identity and social consciousness.

Conservation Area

What is a Conservation Area?

A conservation area is an area designated by the Council because it is considered to possess special architectural or historic interest. Its designation restricts some of the properties Permitted Development Rights and places greater emphasis on design. The Council are then required, through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, to pay 'special attention' to the 'desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance' of that area, when considering planning applications.

How do I find out if my property is in a Conservation Area?

You can find out if your property is in a Conservation Area by searching on our E-mapping system or visiting our Conservation Areas webpage. For further advice please contact the Council's Planning Service.

Permitted Development

What is Permitted Development?

Permitted Development is external building works or changes of use that can be undertaken without the need for planning permission. The Government sets restrictions on what can be built including the size/height/depth/materials, or which uses can be permitted. These are set out in the General Permitted Development Order 2015 (as amended). Even if works are classed as permitted development, you may still need planning permission as some properties have restricted Permitted Development Rights. Rights can be restricted through an Article 4 Direction or planning condition. Listed buildings have very few Permitted Development Rights.

How do I find out if the works I propose fall under Permitted Development?

You can read the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended) online, alternatively you can find helpful advice on the Planning Portal, but for local planning advice please contact the Councils Planning Service.

Article 4 Directions

What is an Article 4 Direction?

An Article 4 Direction is a statement made under the Town and Country Planning Acts, specifically the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (as amended) to remove all or some of the Permitted development Rights on a site or area.

How do I find out if my property covered by an Article 4 Direction?

You can find out if your property is covered by an Article 4 Direction by visiting the Article 4 Direction and Local Development Orders page of the Council's website. For further advice please contact the Council's Planning Service.

Local Development Order

What is a Local Development Order?

A Local Development Order (LDO) is a planning tool which allows Councils to introduce new Permitted Development Rights. They are designed to remove the need to apply for permission and make it quicker for residents to carry out work. An LDO can grant permission if the proposal is in line with the approved order without the need to apply for planning permission.  In East Lindsey our only LDO is in Woodhall Spa this can be found on the Council's Article 4 Direction and Local Development Orders webpage.


Where can I get advice?

For planning advice,  call our Duty Officer on 01507 601111 Monday - Friday (09:00-13:00) 

You can also download Pre-application Advice for further guidance.

Where else can I get advice?

Advice on heritage and conservation is also available from external bodies including:

Historic England

Historic Environment Scotland

Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC)

Listed Building Owners Club