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Working with listed buildings

Working with listed buildings

  • Posted on 16th July 2018
  • Category: Structural Engineering

As the regeneration and renewal of our town and city centres gathers pace, it is essential that careful integration of historic buildings plays an important role in creating schemes that are of benefit to local economies and communities. Below is a guide to some essential measures that should be taken when developing listed buildings.


  • Gain the correct permissions. In order to undertake any works on a listed building or any listed part of a building: Listed Building Consent must first be obtained. This consent will be required along with any planning permission or building control approvals. There will be conditions to discharge for planning and LBC. All conditions should be signed off and LBC approval given prior to the commencement of work.
  • Discuss any works with the local planning department in general and, more specifically, the local authorities’ conservation officer prior to repairs being undertaken and apply for any permissions that they request. Should the conservation officer be concerned, they will refer the approval to Historic England/Scotland/Wales/Ireland.
  • Hire additional experts. The Conservation Accreditation Register for Engineers (CARE) is a published list identifying civil and structural engineers, skilled in the conservation of historic structures. Patrick Parsons’ heritage expert, Bruce Horsburgh, is CARE accredited and has vast knowledge of the requirements when working with listed buildings.


  • Under any circumstances, start work on a listed building without written confirmation that you may do so. Undertaking works to a listed building without necessary permissions now holds an unlimited maximum fine and potential imprisonment for all parties involved in the works.
  • Underestimate budget. Bear in mind that old buildings tend to reveal the unexpected and therefore it is recommended that a contingency is put in place to cover any costs of these elements once uncovering works get underway.
  • Underestimate timescales. Planning procedures take longer for listed buildings because of the additional detail the planning authorities require. Detailed drawings will be required to show exactly what the modifications will look like.

To find out more about our work with listed buildings, download our Heritage Capability Statement here.