Listed buildings

What is a listed building?

A 'listed building' is a building, object or structure that has been judged to be of national importance in terms of architectural or historic interest. It is included on a register called the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Compiled by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports, (DCMS), under the provisions of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest comprises a wide variety of structures, from castles and cathedrals to milestones and village pumps.

Permission, known as Listed Building Consent, must be obtained from the Local Planning Authority for any proposed alteration that would affect a listed building's special interest. The Councils Conservation Officer will be able to provide advice and guidance regarding the need for Listed Building Consent in relation to specific proposals.

View the Listed Building Register for Trafford Council

How do buildings become listed?

Although the majority of listings have resulted from survey work conducted by English Heritage (or its predecessors) on behalf of the Secretary of State, it is open to any person to request the listing of a building by contacting DCMS.

What part of the building is listed?

When a building is listed, it is listed in its entirety, i.e., both the exterior and the interior are protected. Furthermore, any object or structure fixed to the building, and any object or structure within the curtilage of the building, which, although not fixed to the building, forms part of the land and has done so since before July 1st 1948, are treated as part of the listed building.

Why are buildings listed?

It is generally accepted that there should be effective protection for all aspects of the historic environment. The physical survival of our past, including buildings, are to be valued and protected as a central part of our cultural heritage and our sense of identity. Historic buildings also add to the quality of our lives, being an important aspect of the character and appearance of our towns, villages and countryside.

What are the criteria for a building having listed status?

The following are the main criteria that the DCMS uses in determining which buildings to include on the statutory list:

  • Architectural Interest: buildings of importance because of their design, decoration and craftsmanship
  • Historic Interest: buildings which illustrate an aspect of the nation's social, economic, cultural or military history
  • Historic Association: buildings that demonstrate close historical association with nationally important people or events
  • Group Value: buildings that form part of an architectural ensemble, such as squares, terraces or model villages

In broad terms, buildings that are eligible for listed status are as follows:

  • all buildings built before 1700 that survive in anything like their original condition
  • most buildings of 1700-1840, although selection is necessary
  • between 1840 and 1914 only buildings of definite quality and character; the selection is designed to include the major works of principal architects
  • between 1914 and 1939 selected buildings of high quality or historic interest
  • a limited number of outstanding buildings after 1939, but at least ten years old, and usually more than 30 years old

What are the 'grades'?

Listed buildings are classified into grades to indicate their relative importance. These are as follows:

Grade I

Buildings of exceptional interest (approximately 2% of all listed buildings)

Grade II*

particularly important and more than special interest (approximately 4%)

Grade II

buildings of special interest, warranting every effort being made to preserve them (94%)

How to apply for Listed Building Consent

You can apply online for Listed Building Consent through the Planning Portal.

Alternatively, you can download a Listed Building Consent Application Form and submit it to the Planning service using the address on this page.

White City - Historic Plans

Plans dating from the early 1900's showing the original layout of the White City Botanical Gardens and park have recently been discovered.  Copies have been made avaliable online.

Useful websites

Historic England

English Heritage

National Trust

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