Listed Buildings Background to the Legislation
The Listing Process
The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 places a duty on the Secretary of State to compile a statutory list of buildings of 'Special architectural or historic interest'.
The initial selection of buildings is undertaken by Historic England in accordance with a set of national criteria, and a list prepared. Most buildings built before 1700 (in original condition) are included. Between 1700 and 1840 most buildings are listed although selection is needed. Between 1840 and 1914 only buildings of definite quality and major works of the principle architects are listed. Between 1914 and 1939 only those buildings of high quality are selected. Recently a survey was undertaken of buildings over 30 years old to determine which modern (post war) buildings should be added to the list.
Listed Buildings are included on a Statutory or 'Green List'. This is classified into three grades as follows:
- Grade 1 Buildings of exceptional interest (only about 2% of Listed Buildings are in this category) (There are two in Gosport: Rowner Church and the Magazine at Priddy's Hard).
- Grade II* These are particularly important buildings of more than special interest (some 4% of Listed Buildings).
- Grade II These are buildings of special interest that warrant every effort being made to preserve them. This category includes most Listed Buildings.
Each entry on the list is accompanied by a brief description to identify the particular building. This description may not describe all the features, especially those of the interior, that are part of the special architectural or historic interest of the particular building.
Many buildings from Gosport's past have already disappeared whilst others, including those within Ministry of Defence establishments, may not normally be accessible to the general public. Those buildings of Historic or Architectural interest that survive are therefore increasingly important in maintaining links with the past and conserving the heritage of the Borough. This guidance relates principally to Listed Buildings but there are many older buildings, especially in Conservation Areas, to which the following information and technical advice will also apply.
Technical and Financial Assistance
Advice on all aspects of repair, restoration and maintenance of historic buildings is available from the Borough Council's Conservation Officer who also has access to advice from specialist bodies regarding appropriate and up-to-date products and techniques. Repair and restoration may be eligible for consideration for Grant Aid under the provisions of the Planning (Listed Buildings in Conservation Areas) Act 1990. At the present time Gosport Borough Council operates a Grant Aid programme. Additional grants may also be available in certain circumstances from other sources, such as Historic England.
In extreme cases the Borough Council also has powers to undertake emergency works to unoccupied Listed Buildings that are at risk and recover the reasonable costs from the owner, if he or she neglects to do so themself. If an owner fails to take reasonable steps to preserve a Listed Building the Local Planning Authority has the powers to issue a 'Repairs Notice' listing the works that are outstanding and, if the order is ignored, may institute proceedings for the Compulsory Purchase of the property. If it is considered that the neglect was motivated by a desire to redevelop the site and was therefore deliberate the Borough Council may make out a case for the purchase price to relate to the value of the land only.
Owners of Listed Buildings have a duty to keep them in good order. In this context maintenance works do not require Listed Building Consent from the Local Planning Authority provided that they do not affect the character of the building. For example, if a window sill is defective the sill may be replaced, providing this is done using the same materials, construction method and general design.
It is not expected that all Listed Buildings will be preserved intact in all circumstances, but it does mean that any demolition, either partial or complete will not be permitted unless there are exceptional or fully justified reasons. Alterations may be permitted if they are essential to ensure the economic future of the building, are the minimum that will achieve the desired result, and if at all possible could be reversed.
In all cases every effort should be made to retain as much of the original fabric of the building as possible. The original structure, both internal and external will contain detail, seen and unseen, that relates to its Architectural and Historic character. For this reason it is necessary to apply for Listed Building Consent from the Local Planning Authority to carry out alterations. In the case of additions, normal planning permission will also need to be obtained.
Note: It is an offence to carry out works of alteration, extension or demolition without the express consent of the Borough Council, as the Local Planning Authority, and the penalty can be a fine of unlimited amount and/or imprisonment.
Owners of Listed Buildings are urged to ensure that their insurance cover is on the basis of the building being 'Listed'. Unless the insurers are aware of the listing they may not allow for the replacement, in the unfortunate event of a claim, to match the cost of replacing the original materials.