A building is listed when it is of special architectural or historical interest and thought to be worth protecting.

Listed buildings have extra legal protection within the planning system as they are of national importance.  This means that changes to both the interior and exterior of a listed building are restricted and it is against the law to make changes without consent.

South Gloucestershire has approximately 2,500 listed buildings.

Grades of buildings

There are 3 grades of listed buildings depending on the national importance of the building at the time of listing. The grades are:

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest
  • Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest
  • Grade II buildings are of special interest

The listing description is intended to help identify individual buildings and is not a complete list of protected features. You can check with us if you are not sure what is included.

Buildings are listed by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 after recommendation by Historic England.

Find out if a building is listed

If you think your property is listed but are unsure you can check Historic England’s search the list page.

This allows you to search the National Heritage List for England by postcode or keyword.

Consent for work

You need listed building consent if you wish to alter, extend or demolish a listed building.

Repairs which might alter the character of the building or result in the loss of historic features also require consent.

We aim to preserve listed buildings, their setting and any features of architectural or historic interest.

It is an offence to carry out work to a listed building without listed building consent.

Application advice

You can check whether your proposal needs listed building consent by submitting a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Works. If you know consent will be required then you can get advice on your proposal by submitting a pre-application enquiry.

If your building is Grade I or II* listed you can also get advice from Historic England through their enhanced advisory service before making an application.

General advice

We have published advice notes which provide general advice for those applying for listed building consent or thinking about carrying out repairs.

Other advice on owning, repairing or altering historic buildings is available from Historic England and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

We have also published planning policy guidance on design matters such as Householder Extensions, Barn Conversions and Shopfronts.

Make an application for listing or delisting

Applications to have a building added or removed from the statutory list should be made to Historic England on their online application. 

Historic England have a series of selection guides which they use when assessing whether a historic building or site should be listed. You should refer to this guidance when making an application for listing.

Buildings are also assessed based on the principles of selection for listed buildings.

Apply for consent

Applications for listed building consent can be made online on the Planning Portal. You can also download an application form.

Make sure you include a heritage statement that describes the significance of the building, its setting and how your proposals will affect these.

We decide on applications for listed building consent in accordance with:

Listed building maintenance

It is the owner’s responsibility to maintain a listed building.

If a listed building falls into disrepair or has been deliberately neglected it will be added to our buildings at risk register. Grade I and II* listed buildings at risk may also be added to Historic England’s Heritage at risk register.

We monitor buildings at risk and seek long-term solutions for repair and maintenance. We have legal powers to serve an urgent work notice or repairs notice on the owner of a listed building. This means work must be carried out to prevent further decay.

An urgent works notice is restricted to emergency repairs only, such as works to keep a building weatherproof and safe from collapse.

A repairs notice is not restricted to urgent work and may include work to preserve architectural details.

When a property owner fails to take reasonable steps to preserve a listed building we can carry out the repairs and charge them for the work. We can also put a compulsory purchase order on a building at risk.

Emergency work

It is possible to undertake emergency work to listed buildings without first getting listed building consent but only if you can prove that:

  • the works were urgently necessary for safety or health or for the preservation of the building
  • it was not practical to secure public safety or health or preserve the building by works of repair or temporary support or shelter
  • the work was limited to the minimum measures immediately necessary to make the building safe
  • detailed notice justifying the work was given to us as soon as reasonably possible

You should contact us as soon as emergency works are contemplated to reduce the risk of prosecution for unauthorised works.

Emergency work circumstances are extremely limited particularly where demolition is involved.

Locally listed buildings

We have many buildings in our area that are not statutory listed buildings but have good quality design, historical significance or contribute to the character and appearance of the area.

To recognise the valuable contribution these buildings make to the character of South Gloucestershire, we have created a list of important local buildings and included policies to protect them in our Policies, Sites and Places DPD Plan.

You can also find our local list supplementary planning document which explains what local listing means and how we will deal with applications affecting their interest and setting.

Locally listed buildings have no additional planning controls but are considered when determining the outcome of a planning application.

Nominate a locally listed building

You can nominate a building or structure to be locally listed by emailing conservation@southglos.gov.uk and including:

Nominations will be carefully considered against our criteria and will be subject to the same process as those on the current list.

Owners may challenge listings by demonstrating that their building or structure does not meet any of the 10 criteria listed.

Nominations will be considered and assessed periodically.

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