Can I get a conservatory for my listed building?

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There are listed buildings all around the UK and many stipulations as to what can and can’t be done to the property. If your home is listed as a Grade I or Grade II building then it’s considered to be of architectural significance or merit.

If this is the case, it’s probably because the property is over 100 years old and as the owner, you’re now the custodian. This means you have a responsibility to look after the building and any changes you wish to implement will need planning permission. This concerns the whole building, including the interior and exterior.

So when it comes to a conservatory, although it’s permitted development for normal homes, it’s a different case with listed buildings. Instead you’ll need consent, known as Listed Building Consent. Without this consent you’ll be breaking the law and will be subsequently prosecuted.

How to get Listed Building Consent for a conservatory

In the same way you’d seek permission with a non-listed property, you’ll need to go to the local council. All councils are different so depending on where you live there could be varying procedures in place. Typically it’ll take eight weeks for a decision to be made on a Grade II listed building, with 21 days for neighbours to make any complaints.

Grade I buildings tend to take longer, with up to 13 weeks expected for a decision to be made. The council may even ask for advice from English Heritage.

If your conservatory proposals are accepted then you’ll be free to build the extension. Of course there may be certain criteria for you to meet as part of the acceptance. If you’re proposal is declined then you have an opportunity to appeal.

Choosing the right conservatory

Much of the criteria for conservatories with listed buildings involve the conservatory suitably matching the home. For this reason it’s important to get your proposal right and many homeowners get the help of an architect with experience in listed buildings.

Essentially, the conservatory will need to be designed with a similar look to the building. This includes the design functions such as the shape and size, as well as the materials you plan to use. Typically, homeowners in listed buildings will look towards hardwood conservatories with Victorian designs.

When assessing your proposal, planners will want to ensure the conservatory isn’t going to dominate the original building or create an unbalance in the grounds. The colour will also be a major factor in whether your plans are approved or declined. Keep the colours similar to the building and you have every chance of success in your application.

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Tom Crosswell

I have been managing online projects since 1999 and I'm a experienced marketeer, who is well versed in international brand management, online business strategy and developing long term relationships. Through my academic and professional background I am a specialist in generating online loyalty towards brands. My experience has taught me that ultimately business is about relationships and people. For more information see my Google+ page.