The concept of listed buildings was introduced during World War II as a way of determining which buildings should be rebuilt if bombing damaged them. Presently English Heritage is the public body with responsibility for all aspects of protecting and promoting the historic environment.
Extending the use of Buildings
English Heritage state that listing does not guarantee that the building will never be altered, demolished or developed. Listing is not intended to fossilise a building. It is important to keep a building in use and if this cannot be the one it was originally designed for then another use for it, such as a post office, should be found. However by requiring the owner to obtain listed building consent for any planned work and to consult with interested parties on the proposals, this ensures that the special historic and architectural qualities of the building are taken into account in any planning decisions relating to the building.
Listed Building Consent
Listed Building Consent is required in order to carry out any works to a listed building, which will affect its special value for listing purposes. This will almost certainly be necessary for any major works, but may also be necessary for minor alterations, repairs, maintenance and change of use of the property. Listed Building Consent is required in addition to planning permission before any alterations can begin on a listed building. Planning permission is required from a local authority to erect or convert a building or to change the use to which a building or piece of land is put.
- Grade I
- These are buildings of exceptional interest (only about 2 per cent of listed buildings so far are in this grade).
- Grade II*
- These are particularly important buildings of more than special interest (some 4 per cent of listed buildings)
- Grade II
- These are buildings of special interest, which warrant every effort being made to preserve them.
KS Security’s Experience
KS Security has upgraded numerous listed post offices and installed new post offices in listed buildings that have been granted with a change of use.
By working closely with local authority, surveyors, builders, Post Office Ltd. and the owners it is possible to continue the use of a listed building without damaging its quality or character. Or as English Heritage put it, it is the process of managing change, not preventing it.