P­eriod and Listed Buildings

Many historic buildings in London and the Home Counties have survived.  Most wattle and daub cottages have disappeared but the better quality oak framed, stone and brick houses remain and some are many hundreds of years old.

Fashions in building design and changes to both building materials and methods of construction are useful when dating many historic houses.  Careful examination often reveals alteration, extensions and dramatic modifications to older buildings.  It is common to find a Georgian building behind a Victorian façade.

A knowledge and understanding of the different periods of construction allow a surveyor to advise on historic and period buildings.

The Periods and Styles of English houses

Dates of period architecture relate to the reigns of Monarchs although there are no exact dates when one style changed to another.

Tudor 1485-1560   
Henry VII 1485-1509
Henry VIII 1509-1547
Edward VI 1547-1553
Mary 1553-1558
Elizabethan 1560-1603
Elizabeth I 1558-1603
Jacobean or Early Stuart 1603-1649
James I 1603-1625
Charles I 1625-1649
Cromwellian 1649-1660
Commonwealth
Carolean or Late Stuart 1660-1689
Charles II 1660-1685
James II 1685-1689
William & Mary 1689-1702
William III
and Mary
1689-1702
Queen Anne 1702-1714
Anne 1702-1714
Georgian 1714-1800
George I 1714-1727
George II 1727-1760
George III 1760-1820
Regency & Early Victorian 1800-1837
(George III 1811-1820)
George IV 1820-1830
William IV 1830-1837
Victorian 1837-1901
Victoria 1837-1901
Edwardian 1901-1910
Edward VII 1901-1910

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Purchasing an older building

Old buildings are costly to heat, maintain and repair.  This is a continuing responsibility even following a major refurbishment.  They are often constructed to low standards when compared with modern regulations.  They often have rooms which are unusually large, small or misshapen by today’s standards.  Despite this, many people wish to own and occupy a unique building of historic merit and character which cannot be found on modern developments.

Beyond the “chocolate box”, pictures of many historic buildings it is necessary to appreciate the costs and disruption necessary to plan and carry out works of maintenance and repair.

Listed Buildings

Most buildings constructed prior to Victorian times are listed as being of “special architectural or historic interest”.  “Listed Building Consent” is necessary before works, alteration and repair may be carried out.  Historic building materials and methods of construction are necessary which increase costs. 

It may be that an owner’s plans for a building have to be modified to comply with the listing.  More commonly the aims of the local authority Listed Buildings Officer coincide with those of people who wish to own, conserve and preserve buildings of historic character and style.

Why is a building listed?

Buildings have been listed as being of special architectural and historic interest since 1st January 1950.  The purpose was to protect the buildings which make up the country’s architectural heritage from demolition and alteration.
 
Buildings are judged on age, rarity, architectural merit and method of construction.  Buildings linked to famous people or historic events are sometimes listed.  Almost all buildings with any original features and constructed prior to 1700 are listed as are most built prior to 1840.  Some modern buildings are listed and judged on criteria other than age.

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The types of listing 

Grade I

Buildings of exceptional interest.

Grade II*

Buildings that are particularly important and of more than special interest.

Grade II

Buildings of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.

More than 0.5 buildings in England are listed.  Less than 10% are Grade I or Grade II* listings.

Listing documents

The local authority planning department provides listings in its local area.

English Heritage maintains a national list at the National Monuments Record, Kemble Drive, Swindon, SN2 2GZ.

Building preservation notices

The district/borough council or the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission may issue a building preservation notice where demolition or alteration of a building is threatened.  The notice protects a building for six months.  This allows time for it to be properly assessed and a decision made as to the appropriateness of a listing.

Spot listing

This is a procedure used by the Department of National Heritage in an emergency.  Members of the public often request spot listings.

Removal of listing

It is possible to remove a building from the list by submitting evidence to the Secretary of State to show that it does not possess the special architectural or historic interest which formed the basis of the original listing.

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Listed building consent

It is necessary to obtain listed building consent from the local planning authority or the Secretary of State when a person wishes to demolish, alter or extend a listed building in a way that would affect its character.

Carrying out such works without consent can result in an unlimited fine, up to 12 months imprisonment or both.

Planning approval

Both planning approval from the local authority and listed building consent are necessary.

Appeals

Should a local authority refuse listed building consent an appeal may be made to the Secretary of State.

Recording of buildings prior to demolition

A listed building should not be demolished following consent until the Royal Commission on Historic Monuments has been allowed to make a record of it.

Maintenace and repairs

A “Repairs Notice” from the local authority may be served on a building owner specifying works which must be carried out to preserve a listed building.  Failure to comply with the Notice within two months enables the local authority to make a compulsory purchase order.

Some owners deliberately neglect listed buildings in order to hasten redevelopment.  In these circumstances the local authority may compulsorily purchase at a price that excludes the development value.

The authority may serve a notice on the owner of an unoccupied building that it intends to carry out urgent repairs and recover the cost of those repairs from the owner.

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Grants and Loans

Grants and loans are available for repairs to listed buildings but not for normal maintenance work.  Such grants and loans are only available where owners would not be able to complete the works without financial assistance.

Conservation Areas

Local authorities may designate “areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve or enhance”.  Alteration, extension or demolition of buildings in conservation areas requires conservation area consent. 

Town Schemes

Some historic towns have a town scheme rather than individual listings and both grants and loans are available for repair. 

Lloyd Davies Chartered Surveyors?

Ours is an independent firm of chartered surveyors established in 1996 providing advice on the value and condition of residential and commercial property in the London, Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex and Kent area.

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