Listed buildings

What is a Listed Building?

A listed building is one that is included in the 'List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest' compiled by the Secretary of State for National Heritage. Selby District Council has a copy of the list for its area which any member of the public is welcome to inspect.

Why is a Building Listed?

Listed buildings come under 3 different grades of importance and all grades are important. The 3 grades are as follows:

  • Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important.
  • Grade II* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
  • Grade II buildings are nationally important and of special interest.

To obtain listed building descriptions you can click on the following link:

There are four main reasons why a building may be listed:

  • Architectural interest - including buildings that are a good example of a particular style or type, as well as ones that display important examples of decoration or craftsmanship;
  • Historic interest - including buildings that display important aspects of the social, economic, cultural and military history of the nation;
  • Close historical associations - buildings that are associated with a particular event or person; and
  • Group value - buildings that, together, form an important historic or architectural unity such as a crescent or terrace.

Age and rarity are other important considerations. The older a building is, and the fewer the surviving examples, the more likely the building is to be listed. Generally speaking, the following apply:

  • Buildings built before 1700, and which are surviving in anything like their original condition, will be listed;
  • buildings built between 1700 and 1840 - some selection is necessary although many will be listed;
  • buildings built between 1840 and 1914 - an even greater selection is necessary since so many more examples have survived, with even fewer buildings built after 1914 being listed, and very few buildings less than 30 years old will be listed.

For further information on Listed Buildings please see the Historic England website.

Grants available for Listed Buildings

English Heritage can offer grant aid to listed buildings but, due to a limited budget, generally only does so to Grade 1 or 2* listed buildings. However, these grants can be sizeable and are well worth applying for. Contact English Heritage for further details on 0207 9733000 or visit the English Heritage website.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs also has a Farm and Conservation Grant Scheme for repairs to traditional farm buildings currently in use as agricultural buildings. Contact DEFRA on 01482 862201 for further details, or visit the DEFRA website.

Zero % VAT

Generally, 'approved alterations' to listed buildings (alterations that have listed building consent) which have a residential or charitable use, qualify for zero rated VAT. For more information, please ask for leaflet 708/95 'Protected Buildings' from the Customs and Excise Office. You can contact them on 01482 24171 or via the Customs and Excise website.

What is the effect of listing?

The listing of a building applies to both the exterior and the interior. There is no such thing as a listed facade. If you want to do anything that alters the character of the listed building you will need to apply for listed building consent.

Even seemingly insignificant works such as changing a window, or painting the building can affect its character and it is advisable to contact Development Management before you begin any work.

If you want to demolish a listed building, or any part of it, you will also need listed building consent. Again, even seemingly minor work such as removing a chimney stack or a fixture is construed as demolition and will need consent.

Listed building consent applications are free and entitle you to zero rated VAT if you get consent for the work you want to carry out. Applications normally take 6-8 weeks to process.

Listed Building Consent Applications

With a listed building consent application you should include:

  • A site plan to identify the building in question;
  • Scaled drawings of external elevations affected by the works, showing both the existing situation and the proposed one;
  • Scaled floor plans, where internal works are involved, showing both the existing layout and the proposed layout;
  • Photographs of elevations or detailing where this would be helpful; and
  • Written justification for the works where substantial demolition or alteration is proposed.
  • A Heritage Statement identifying the significance of the listed building, identifying works to the listed building and how these works affect the listed building. The requirements and guidance of Heritage statements can be found in PPS5 Planning for the Historic Environment and the Historic Environment Planning Practice Guide.

If you have any other questions please contact 01757 705101 or