Retrospective Listed Building Consent

A lot of people ask about retrospective listed building consent. Often it is because they have discovered something they thought was perfectly acceptable to do with their home, actually isn't. Maybe they have done a whole load of work to a timber frame, thinking it was normal maintenance. The exact definition of what is allowed, and not allowed on a Listed Building, is grey at the best of times. So if you find yourself in the position of needing to apply for Retrospective LBC, don't think you are alone on a desert island - you are not - loads of people get caught in the complexity of LBC rules.

The best approach with Building Conservation is always to be up front and honest. If you have a problem - own up to it, be completely frank, and just accept that you will need to do something about it. Your local Conservation Officer most certainly does not want a fight - and if you work with them, you'll find they don't bite (or not very often) and will do what they can to help you 'regularise' or make whatever it is that is wrong, legal.

To apply for retrospective Listed Building Consent, you have to put in a full LBC application. Before you do, it is best to sit down with the Conservation Officer responsible and go through the exact detail of what is supposed to be wrong. In many cases it is a lot easier to work with a Historic Building Consultant - someone like ourselves, who understand the system, and can usually work with the Conservation Officer to come up with solutions and compromise. No two instances are the same - some of the usual ones are things like people replacing windows and doors with plastic UPVC, or changing very traditional sash windows for modern casements. The worst problems we have dealt with are when thatch is replaced - a wheat straw suddenly gets replaced with reed - and all hell breaks loose. You may occasionally find someone tapping on your door if you get a lovely old stone cottage rendered in cement - or repointed with mortar that's the wrong colour.

The bottom line here is that if something amounts to a 'material change' - it will need consent. If you have just repointed lime with lime, it is highly unlikely anyone will complain. If you made a mistake, and think you are in trouble - speak to Conservation. Remember - they are stressed out, overworked, and the last thing they want is to have a lengthy battle with someone over a Listed Building. The easier you make their life, the more they will help you. Own up, tell them what's happened, and get an application in. If you need help, give us a call, and we can help with preparing any documentation.

You will need, for a retrospective Listed Building Consent application the following:

  1. Existing and proposed plans and elevations
  2. Site plan
  3. Design and Access statement
  4. Heritage Statement
  5. Schedule of work with specifications
  6. LBC application form

To put this together, a consultant will charge from around 2,000 upwards, depending on the size of the building and complexity of the plans and elevations needed.

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