So you are buying a property, the house of your dreams but the estate agents particulars have a particular sentence, that the house is Grade 2 listed….
Well, your obviously here and reading this because you want to know what does grade 2 listed means.
Well, firstly, it is important to know the basics.
There are three types of listing as defined by Historic England, namely: Grade 1, Grade 2* and Grade 2.
A building is listed when it is of special architectural or historic interest considered to be of national importance and therefore worth protecting.
As the term implies, a listed building is actually added to a list: the National Heritage List for England. You can use this to discover whether your home is listed and if so, what grade it is.
You may also be able to find out what is particularly significant about the building. Some listing records are more detailed than others.
Most listed building owners are likely to live in a Grade II building as these make up 92% of all listed buildings.
What parts of the building does listing cover?
Listing covers a whole building, including the interior, unless parts of it are specifically excluded in the list description.
It can also cover:
- Other attached structures and fixtures
- Later extensions or additions
- Pre-1948 buildings on land attached to the building. (In the planning system, the term ‘curtilage’ is used to describe this attached land.)
Because all listed buildings are different and unique, what is actually covered by a listing can vary quite widely. It is best, therefore, to check this with your local planning authority.
What can’t you do to a Grade 2 listed building?
Generally speaking, in terms of significance and therefore protection, there is no difference regardless of the level of listing. All listed buildings are protected by law meaning alterations and building work can’t be carried out without written consent from the relevant authorities.
One of the most common questions we get asked is, can I put a new kitchen or bathroom in a Grade 2 listed building?
The answer as to many things in conservation is maybe. It depends on your local authority and yes, listed Building Consent or at least a written consent may be required to create a new kitchen or alter an existing one if your house is a listed building, and you should seek advice on this before carrying out any changes.
So what about painting or changing windows? Things that in a contemporary property you would not think twice about?
Firstly, contact your conservation officer. They like it when they see people making the effort to look after old buildings. Are the paints harmonious (breathable), your conservation will want to know, and actually they be able to advise you on what to use. Windows is a tricky one, what are you putting in, where, are they like for like etc.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when buying any listed building and you should be aware of all of the different regulations and what is allowed.
We at Smith Heritage Surveyors are as always on hand to help you make the best decision and guide you through your house buying process so you can make a smart and clear decision.
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