Archaeology, Heritage & Conservation

Listed buildings

Listed buildings are those included on a register called the 'List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest', drawn up by the Historic England (link opens in new window). There are more than 1,900 listed buildings in Central Bedfordshire.

Buildings that qualify for listing are:

  1. all buildings built before 1700, and surviving in anything like their original form, are listed
  2. most buildings dating from 1700 to 1840, unless unsympathetically altered
  3. after this date, only buildings of exceptional quality or of other significance, are listed

You can find out if you live in a Listed Building by entering your property details at The National Heritage List for England (link opens in new window)

What are the effects of listing?

Listed buildings are graded with Grade I being the highest, followed by Grades II* and II. The same statutory controls apply to all grades. The building, its interior, anything fixed to it, and most buildings and structures within its grounds are considered part of the listing.

Owners have extra responsibilities. For example Listed Building consent may be needed in addition to planning permission. It is a criminal offence to carry out certain works without consent.

Carrying out work to a Listed Building

Regular maintenance and small 'like for like' repairs do not need listed building consent, but must be carried out using methods, materials and finishes in accordance with good conservation practice. The replacement of modern fittings, painting and internal decoration may be acceptable, but any external painting may require consent. Advice on maintenance and repairs is available from the council and is recommended before any work is planned.

A Listed Building must not be demolished, extended or altered in any way that affects its character without having been granted Listed Building Consent. Demolition and any alteration require Listed Building Consent from us. We would not normally approve demolition or major alterations.

If you are in any doubt as to whether works will require consent, please contact planning@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.

Apply for Listed Building Consent

You will need to fill in a listed building application form (link opens in new window). An application will take up to 8 weeks. There is no fee.

Applications for proposals which affect a Listed Building must provide a Heritage Asset Assessment which is usually in the form of a written statement, and will include:

  • Description of the significance of the Listed building affected and an analysis of the architectural and historic interest of the Heritage Asset
  • Assessment of the potential¬†impact of the proposal on the character, appearance, and setting of the Heritage Asset
  • The justification for the proposed works; why they are necessary

The application should explain the sources and experts consulted and the steps to avoid or minimise any adverse impacts on the significance of the building.

Except for the simplest applications it is advisable to employ an agent who is familiar with the policies and procedures of the council to complete the necessary Heritage Asset Assessment.

Design Guide for Central Bedfordshire

The core Design Guide sets out the policy for development and advice on the character of the district and methods of appraising sites and their settings. The Design Guide Supplements most relevant to listed buildings are:

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