Listed Buildings – Laws and Regulations

Article 2 – Forming the list

This article continues our look at the laws and regulations surrounding listed buildings, and how English Heritage continues to protect buildings, structures and monuments up and down the country. Below you can find information on the grades used to specify relative historical and architectural value, how English Heritage finds the buildings it lists and the list itself.

What makes English Heritage add a building to the list?

Public interest is absolutely crucial in finding buildings that need to be protected. Any member of the public, amenity, local authority or historic society can email:

or complete an online application form on the English Heritage website. The application provides the authorities with information on where the building is, and why it is of specific interest. The inclusion of photos, site plans and as much information as possible all aids the process.

The organisation is also proactive in finding buildings yet to be listed, but deserving of protection. Buildings are assessed by type and by area to bring the lists up-to-date by ensuring that the best structures of each particular type are included on the list. Examples of recent themes include pubs and Royal Naval Dockyard buildings.

The grades

Buildings are assessed for their architectural or historic interest on behalf of the Secretary of State by inspectors of the English Heritage Organisation, and also on occasion by County Council and consultant practice inspectors. The final decision is made by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

Below are the grade classifications for listed buildings:

–          Grade I – Buildings of exceptional interest, potentially even internationally important, constituting only 2.5% of all listed buildings.

–          Grade II* – Particularly important buildings of more than special interest, constituting 5.5% of all listed buildings.

–          Grade II – Important buildings of special interest. This is by far the most likely form of listing for a homeowner and constitutes 92% of all listed buildings.

The List

Details of grading and descriptive notes are included in one cumulative statutory list for each local authority area. You can search The National Heritage List for England or contact the National Monuments record on 01793 414600 to find out about listed buildings near you.

This article is one of a series on ‘Listed Buildings’ produced by Other titles in this series are as follows:

– What, why and how?
– Me and my listing
– Financial help, conservation areas and legal precedent

31/10/2011                                                                                                        LCB/SRJ

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