Renovating a listed building

If your home is listed or located within a conservation area and you are looking to make any improvements or alterations, an appropriate architectural design and specification of materials is vital for a successful project.

There are set procedures to follow and you’ll need advice from an experienced architect, like ourselves to guide you through the process.

Can you extend a listed building?

To be able to extend a listed building, you will need a special form of permission called Listed Building Consent in addition to Householder Planning Consent. An architect will manage this process for you, and advise on any additional justifications that may be required to support the applications.

It’s useful to bear in mind when you are at the planning and ideas stage that any extension must enhance the existing building and not detract from the heritage value and important historic elements associated with the house.

Details of the Listing should explain what the important historic elements are.

An extension will usually have less impact on the host property if it is built onto the back and not seen from the front (or the main façade). This is because the back is usually less important architecturally than the front. Side extensions may also be acceptable. Permission for an extension that projects to the front is rarely given as this is usually the most important and most visible part of the house and can affect its setting.

Does an extension have to be in the same style as the original building?

Sometimes a very modern extension may be considered more appropriate than a replication or continuation of the existing building or style. The design should always be of high quality. Some authorities look for a design which is in keeping with what is already there and others may look for a contrast with the original building. It is best to seek advice from your architect.

A new extension should not dominate a historic building: this usually means it should be lower and smaller. Some small buildings such as lodges and cottages can easily be swamped by an extension unless very carefully designed.

However, with some careful planning and a well-designed extension, you can totally transform a historic property for modern living, whilst still retaining its important heritage features

Take a look at one of our recent projects on listed properties and contact us to discuss the feasibility of your project in more detail.