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  3. Historic buildings and conservation
  4. Listed buildings

Listed buildings

A listed building is a building that has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest by Historic England. There are three grades of listing:

  • Grade I, buildings of exceptional, national interest: 43 in the District, including Blenheim Palace, Kelmscott Manor and many churches
  • Grade II*, buildings of outstanding interest, nearer to Grade-I than Grade-II: 211 in the District, including fine examples of Cotswold vernacular architecture, agricultural and industrial buildings, such as Bliss Tweed Mill in Chipping Norton
  • Grade II, buildings of special interest: almost 3,000 in the District, ranging from grand houses to simple cottages

Listed building consent is required for alterations and extensions to listed buildings. This applies to both the exterior and the interior of the building. Most attached structures and buildings and structures within the historic curtilage of a listed building are also covered by the listing.

Apply for listed building consent

Unauthorised work to a listed building constitutes a criminal offence, and may lead to prosecution. There is no time limit and liability for unauthorised work may pass to new owners.

Historic buildings that are not listed

Traditional but un-listed buildings, as well as often having architectural or historic merit in their own right, are vital components of the settlements and landscapes of the district. Inappropriate alterations to these buildings can be harmful not only to the building itself, but also to the appearance of the wider area.

Un-listed buildings of architectural or historic interest within Conservation Areas may be identified as ‘Locally Listed Buildings’. Although this does not constitute a statutory protection, it does recognise the special interest of otherwise un-listed buildings, together with the contribution they make to the appearance of Conservation Areas.

Care should be taken to ensure that any changes to such structures are carried out in such a way as to cause no undue harm to their character or fabric. This will be reflected in planning decisions.

Greener historic buildings

Changes to historic buildings, such as improving energy efficiency, need to be carefully considered to ensure a balance between modernisation and preservation of character.

The guidance offers practical advice and highlights any statutory consents that you might need.