Buildings are identified by English Heritage and placed on a statutory list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. Listing is undertaken when a building (or structure) demonstrates national significance to the historical, social, cultural, industrial, economic and political development of England.
The main criteria used in determining whether a building should be listed are set out below:
The government's document principles of selection for listing buildings provides further information on the approach to assessing buildings and structures. In addition, English Heritage has produced a series of designation selection guides for different categories of designated heritage assets.
Listed buildings are classified in grades to show their relative importance. The majority of listed buildings on the national heritage list for England are grade II (buildings that are nationally important and of special interest) with a small percentage grade II * (buildings that are particularly important and of more than special interest) and an even smaller percentage grade I (buildings that are of exceptional interest).
Listed status protects a building against unauthorised demolition, alteration or extension. It ensures that its special interest is taken into account when proposals are put forward which affect its character or appearance.
Anyone can suggest a building to English Heritage for listing by visiting their website and completing the application form. Before English Heritage can take forward an application, they need a certain level of information, both about where the building is, and why it is of special interest. As much information as possible should be provided, and a typical checklist is set out below:
English Heritage examine the case and make a recommendation, but the decision on whether to list is taken by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. If the building is included then the relevant local authority and owner is notified accordingly.
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This page was last updated on 7 April 2016