A listed building is one which is formally declared to be of special architectural or historic interest.
Under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 there is a statutory duty to compile lists of buildings of special architectural or historic interest for the country.
The list is a register. It identifies those buildings which are of special interest and gives the Council extra powers to protect them, as well as imposing extra responsibilities on their owners.
Is my property a listed building?
You can examine the list of Dacorum's listed buildings at the Planning Department at the Hemel Hempstead Civic Centre.
You can also search online to find listed buildings.
For details on how to add or remove a building from the list, please visit the English Heritage – Listed Buildings website.
It is important to note that buildings can be and are removed from the listed as a result of poor or inappropriate alterations, extensions or 'modernisations', which reduce not only their historic value, but their sale value too! It is a criminal offence to carry out works to a listed building without having listed building consent. Unauthorised works can be subject to prosecution.
How are buildings chosen for listing?
All properties are judged according to a set of national criteria. Go to the English Heritage – Listed Buildings website for information.
How much of the listed building is actually listed?
All of it, inside and out. There is no such thing as just a ‘listed facade’ or ‘listed interior’.
The description in the official list is not intended to provide a comprehensive record of all the features of importance. It simply identifies the building. Anything fixed to a listed building is also listed. Any structure in the grounds, which was there before 1948 (even if not fixed to the listed building), is listed. This includes boundary and garden walls and gates. The setting of a listed building is often an important factor when new development or extensions are being considered.
Any previous extensions carried out after 1947 will be taken into account when considering a listed buildings application.
What is listed building consent?
A listed building must not be demolished, extended or altered in any way that affects its character without having been granted listed building consent.
Applications for alterations are made on special listed building consent forms to Dacorum Borough Council. We will then consult with English Heritage and special amenity groups, where necessary, before deciding the application. More detailed information can be found on the English Heritage website.
Listed building consent application form (65.4 KB)
What about repairs and alterations to Listed Buildings?
All buildings need repair at some time and old ones especially. Whilst like for like repairs are encouraged and can generally be carried out without consent for complex repairs and alterations Listed Buildings consent is required. It is, therefore, essential to discuss such work with the Planning service before starting.
There are three principles which you should be aware of when undertaking any repairs or alterations to a listed building or to historic fabric:
Minimum intervention conserve as much of the existing fabric as possible and avoid unnecessary alterations and risks
Honesty alterations should be sympathetic to the existing fabric in terms of performance and character, but making new work appear old, or restoring elements which may never have existed in the past, simply confuse the historical interpretation of the fabric and can create the appearance of a fake, devaluing original material
Reversibility wherever possible, use only repair and alteration techniques that can be reversed later, so that, if necessary, the object could be returned to the state in which it was found without harm
What if I let my listed building deteriorate?
Owners have a legal responsibility to look after listed buildings properly.
Where listed buildings fall into serious disrepair, the Council has the power to issue a Repairs Notice which requires certain repairs to be carried out, within a given time. If the owner does not do the work, the Council can carry them out itself and recover the costs from the owner.
Can I extend a listed building?
You will need listed building consent for any extension or alteration to a listed building.
Please discuss this with a conservation officer to get their initial view. Proposals for the building should seek to preserve and enhance the character of the building and its setting. Some alterations or extensions to listed buildings may also require planning permission.
Article 4 Directions
Some buildings and areas do not merit listing but are worth special protection. These can be covered by an ‘Article 4 Direction’.
This means you must get permission for many changes that would not normally need approval, for example within a conservation area or curtilage of a listed building. If your home is affected, you should discuss any proposed changes with us before starting work.