APR 29, 2014

What makes a listed building?

One common query is, ‘what makes a listed building?’

The answer? Well there are a number of factors that go towards a building becoming listed. And anyone can put a building forward. The final decision as to whether the building will achieve listed status is made by the Secretary of State for Culture. They take advice from other people before deciding.

So how’s a building chosen?

Listing a building is usually thanks to the fact it’s of ‘specialist interest’ to the nation. The main criteria are:

Age and rarity: Any building built before 1700 which has mostly survived are listed.

Architectural interest: Some buildings are important because of their architectural design, decorations and craftsmanship. If a building is considered to be of architectural note, it will be listed.

The criteria: A building must be over 10 years of to be eligible and if built within the last 30 years, it must be exceptionally important.

The history: There are many buildings that have played an important part in our nation’s cultural, social, economic or military history. Buildings are often considered for listing if they’ve been home, or housed a particularly important person, or played a part in an event too.

Recommending a building

As you no doubt know, there are countless buildings across the country that meets with the above criteria that haven’t yet been discovered. That’s why members of the public and local authorities play such an important role when it comes to putting a building forward.

If a building you’re hoping to recommend is under threat of demolition, it doesn’t instantly put it into a listed status. It can however, help speed the process up.


The English Heritage carry out the assessment which happens in 3 stages.

Firstlyan initial assessment is carried out based on the info provided to determine whether the building is worth further investigation. If they do think the building has enough merit, it’ll be investigated further with a site visit.

Once complete all the information will be looked at and then the English Heritage will put forward a recommendation.

Here at planning matters, we believe that maintaining our history through our buildings is vital. And so with every project we take on, we’re committed to ensuring the buildings retain their look.

To find out more about us, get in touch today.

Created on 29th April 2014
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