Listed building allure

Every year, many of the estimated 450,000 listed buildings in the UK change hands on the property market. In England and Wales these properties are designated Grade I, Grade II* or Grade II having being deemed to be of historical, cultural or architectural interest. All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most built between then and 1840. Once added to the register, there are certain criteria in place to help protect these properties and consent is needed for “works for the demolition of a listed building or for its alteration or extension in any manner which would affect its character”.

Buyers that value a property with loads of charm tend to love listed buildings and, indeed, there are benefits to buying one.

A listed building generally possesses a great deal of history and character, attributes that are definitely appealing to the discerning buyer and can add to the building’s value. You can find out about the history of a particular property by consulting the National Heritage List for England.

The fact that a building is listed doesn’t mean you can’t make changes but listed building consent from the local planning authority is required in addition to any planning permissions. Do not assume that, just because a feature isn’t mentioned in the listing description, it isn’t covered by the legislation: a listed building is generally protected in its entirety. Most applications for work are approved, especially if they’ve been carefully thought through.

Many listed building have been successfully converted and adapted from former uses, such as mills, hospitals and public buildings, into highly desirable homes. Well executed adaptation can breathe new life into these historic structures, preserving them for future generations.

A great example of a Grade II listed building that has undergone partial renovation is the 5,756 sqft Mayfair mansion which was originally built in 1751-52 and then, in 1995-97, specially designed for fashion designer Gianni Versace when it was converted from offices to a luxury home.

Ultimately, owners who take possession of a listed building are acquiring more than a home – they’re moving into a recognised piece of history. For buyers interested in purchasing a listed property, obtaining specialist advice to navigate things like insurance, VAT planning, extensions and alterations is strongly recommended.

post in association with Wetherell