Listed buildings

A listed building is a building of special architectural or historical interest; this can also include structures such as walls, telephone boxes or statues. There are over 1,250 listed buildings in Harborough. Listed buildings are graded to reflect their relative architectural and historic interest. Most listed buildings are graded within three categories:

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest
  • Grade II* ('two-star') buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest
  • Grade II buildings are of special interest

More information about listed buildings is available on the Historic England website.

Search for a listed building

All listed buildings are registered on the National Heritage List for England; you can search this list by keyword, postcode or list entry number here.

What is protected?

If a building is listed the protection extends to the whole of the outside and inside of the building; to any object or structure fixed to it (for example fireplaces); and can often include any object or structure within the curtilage of the building, even if not physically fixed to the main building itself, this could include outbuildings, boundary walls and railings.

The list description may not mention all protected features, but, because a feature or interior of the building is not mentioned in the description does not mean that is not important nor that it is not protected by law.

For more advice regarding the listing of a building you can contact us here.

Listed buildings and curtilage

Law states that buildings and other structures that pre-date July 1948 and are within the curtilage of a listed building are to be treated as part of the listed building, therefore you may need listed building consent for works to outbuildings, walls etc within the curtilage of your listed building. Working out whether a building has a curtilage and the extent of the curtilage can be difficult; you can view a guide to listed buildings and curtilage here.

If you are unsure about whether a building or structure is curtilage listed you should always check with us first by contacting us here.

Altering a listed building

If a building is listed it does not prevent change to the building, it simply means that consent must be applied for in order to make any changes to the building which might materially affect its character, this is called listed building consent.

Some examples of alterations that require consent include:

  • Demolition of a listed building or part of it
  • Additions and extensions (including conservatories)
  • New and replacement features- such as doors, windows and gutters
  • Cleaning, rendering or painting external walls
  • Removal of internal and external features- such as chimney stacks, fireplaces, floors, walls and decorative plasterwork
  • Works to outbuildings, boundary walls or railings that are curtilage listed

It is a criminal offence to make changes which affect the special character of a listed building without consent. If you carry out unauthorised works, you could face a fine or even imprisonment. You may also be required to reinstate the building to its former condition.

Applying for listed building consent

Before submitting applications it is advisable to discuss proposed works using our pre-application advice service.  

The process of applying for listed building consent is similar to applying for planning permission, you can find out about applying here

When we are considering whether to grant or refuse your application we must give special attention to the desirability of preserving the building, its setting and those features which make it special. As part of your application you will need to submit a Design and Access Statement and you should consider these factors when writing this.

We may need to consult with Historic England and other relevant bodies whilst assessing your application. While most applications are determined by us, in some cases they will be referred to the Secretary of State.

In addition to listed building consent, works and extensions to Listed Buildings may also require Planning Approval and Building Regulations approval.

You can also discuss Building Regulations approval with a member of our Building Control Service.

Listing a building

If you are concerned about the future of a historic place you can apply for a historic building or site to be protected through the listing system, this is controlled by Historic England. 

Historic England will only consider listing a historic place if it is eligible, you can find more information about applying to list a building or site on their website here.