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Listed house - do we need to notify planners?

(20 Posts)
MuddyMare Mon 12-Sep-11 09:48:41

We live in a grade II listed house. Does anyone know whether we need to notify anyone if we do work on our roof? The work will involve taking the whole roof off and putting it back on so the end result should not look any different to the current roof but are we risking a fine (or worse) if we don't tell the listing people/planners? Due to various issues we have had over the years with our local authority I would like to have as little contact with them as possible.

AvengingGerbil Mon 12-Sep-11 09:56:22

Yes, you do. This is from the BBC's website:

Listed building consent
If a building is on the list, any building work will require 'listed building consent', according to the Planning Act 1990. This is obtained through the local planning authority. Even minor works, such as painting or simple repair work in some circumstances, falls under the scope of this act.

The penalty for ignoring this act is up to a 12-month prison sentence or a fine to an unlimited amount, or both. Then you can be expected to carry out, at your own expense, further works to the listed building to remedy the impact of the unauthorised works.

Permitted development rights are on the whole suspended from these buildings. Your local council conservation office should be your first port of call.

MuddyMare Mon 12-Sep-11 10:35:42

I thought listed building consent only applied to alterations? We won't be making any alternations, the roof is going back on exactly like it was before.

fivegomadindorset Mon 12-Sep-11 10:43:00

Yes you do.

mankyscotslass Mon 12-Sep-11 10:45:13

As far as I am aware you need to let them know.

farming4 Mon 12-Sep-11 10:47:38

Yes you do - we've just had to get permission to re-roof our listed house. You also need to be aware that the council will more than likely ask for a bat survey to be done - which afaik can only be done between May and Sept - and it can be expensive - ours cost us £500 on top of the planning fee.

CMOTdibbler Mon 12-Sep-11 10:48:09

Yes, you definatly do. DH has had to go through planning to repair walls that are about to fall down on listed buildings previously. And in one notable case to replace stolen gates with ones the same as the original gates, not the ones that were in place when stolen

mistlethrush Mon 12-Sep-11 10:51:29

Muddymare - clearly it won't be going on exactly as it was before otherwise you wouldn't be taking it off in the first place.

You need to speak to the Conservation Officer and if they say you don't need consent for it, get it in writing from them.

nelliesue Mon 12-Sep-11 10:53:39

Yes you do.

As gerbil says, the penalties are severe if you don't. Assuming you are taking the roof off and then putting it back on using the exactly the same materials then it shouldn't be too hard to get permission.

I understand what a pain it can be having to talk to the local council - I have found it easier to talk on the phone or face to face in the past. Get them round to the house for a chat, I think they like the opportunity to get out of the office to be honest.

The other option is to just go ahead and hope no-one notices (we have neighbours that have taken that approach). I think if it goes unchallenged for a certain amount of time (5 years?) then planning has to be granted anyway, but this may be a little difficult if you're taking the roof off - it's going to be a bit obvious.

Also, if you go ahead without permission it will become very hard if you want/need to sell the house in the future.

nelliesue Mon 12-Sep-11 10:59:04

Just re-read my post and should stress that I'm not advocating doing anything without permission, just pointing out that some people choose to take the risk.

Good point mistlethrush, if they say you don't need consent then make sure you get it in writing.

Pendeen Mon 12-Sep-11 11:15:12

There are two aspects here:

1. Listed Building Consent.

Assuming you are not re-roofing for pleasure smile I assume there are problems with the roof - leaks, loose slates, etc.

It would be very unusual indeed for there not to some be consequential repairs to the structure or other building elements - e.g. rotted timber so the conservation officer will need to be convinced that any repairs are undertaken in the proper manner and that you use the correct materials and techniques for re-roofing.

2. Building Regulations Approval.

Replacing more than 50% or the roof covering means you will need to improve the thermal performance of the roof and obtain building regulation aproval.

Pendeen Mon 12-Sep-11 11:23:03

I meant:

".....50% of the roof covering...."

tiddleypompom Mon 12-Sep-11 11:25:41

You've been given the right advice here OP - it is a criminal offence not to obtain permission for material works to a listed building. I appreciate that the paperwork that this entails (let alone delay to your start of work), however you choose to live in a listed building and these are the rules that apply.

My advice is to make contact with your local authority conservation officer asap and arrange for him/her to meet you at your home to discuss your proposed works. They will explain what is needed and you have the opportunity to abate any concerns by explaining that the re-roof will be in keeping with the original fabric. Be aware that this may require you to replace materials with 'like' and also reuse original building methods.

Bypassing the process is a risk nobody should advise you to take. The LA would be within their rights to stop all work, force you to apply retrospectively for years after the work is finished (and refuse) and imprison you for knowingly flouting law (though this is rare, to be fair).

As pendeen suggests, there may well be a Building Regs issue to deal with also - as well as a planning consent (different from listed building).

I realise I have repeated what others have already set out, but have done so FWIW! Good luck and sorry there is no way to avoid the process.

LemonDifficult Mon 12-Sep-11 11:31:14

Well, the one good thing about this is that if you do apply for planning permission because something somewhere on the roof is being altered (new) the you won't pay VAT. New approved works to listed buildings are zero VAT rated, so while it might cost a bit for the permission you could save a lot in VAT. It does have to be something new, though, it can't just be repairs, but it doesn't have to be a big 'new'.

Talk it over with any builders who tender. In advance of the tender being acepted, I should add [world weary emoticon].

MuddyMare Mon 12-Sep-11 13:20:16

Ok, I have been told. :-) Anyone know how long the whole consent application process is likely to take? The roof's coming off as it has started leaking very badly (think overflowing buckets in the attic every time it rains) and we need to get it fixed quickly before the whole house becomes sodden. What happens at a bat survey? This whole thing is becoming a nightmare, I can see us living in a wet house for years to come... :-(

GrendelsMum Mon 12-Sep-11 13:27:47

I think you really need to phone up and have a chat with the Conservation Officers directly. We've just had LBC - the faffing about what we were going to put in / they were going to accept took about a month (we wanted to put in an additional window which they decided they weren't happy with after all), but when we compromised, we got the LBC as soon as the team had their weekly meeting.

I have to say, I would have thought that this was repairs rather than alterations, and so wouldn't need LBC and wouldn't get zero rated VAT?

MuddyMare Mon 12-Sep-11 13:43:11

That's what I thought - repairs. The reason the whole roof needs to come off (on advice of three different roofers) is because the felt's gone from underneath and some of the tiles need realigning. We're not going to replace any of the roof (unless you count the roofing felt). Please someone tell me we don't need consent after all? <desperately trying to avoid any contact with the local authority>

farming4 Mon 12-Sep-11 13:56:14

We had to take the roof off the single storey barn attached to the house as the rafters had rotted and the roof was in danger of collapsing. Council insisted on a bat survey to check if there was a roost in the roof - basically a man with a camera and a monitoring microphone came out and inspected the walls and roof looking for signs of bats - even put a fibre optic thingy into holes between the stones to check inside the walls. Didn't find anything thank god else it could have gotten very complicated and required more monitoring (and more money) Think its something to do with complying with some EU reg angry.

There is a time window where you can do the monitoring which I think ends in Sept so if you are planning on doing the work you need to speak to the council sooner rather than later as if you miss the end of the month and they want a survey you will have to wait until next May!

Think you're gonna have to bite the bullet and give the council a ring........

mistlethrush Mon 12-Sep-11 13:58:40

It doesn't matter if its repairs etc. You potentially need consent. The only person that will be able to categorically tell you whether you do or not is the Conservation Officer.

You know its going to get worse if you don't simply pick up the phone and give him a ring - so just do it! smile

Pendeen Mon 12-Sep-11 14:25:57

Consent for emergency work (sounds like you may have a case) can be quite speedy.

Bear in mind that if you strip more than 50% of the roof you will need Building Regulations consent and you will have to upgrade the "thermal performance" e.g. insulation however the Regs recognise that in the case of Listed Buildings there is the potential for conflict between the need to maintain an historic building and energy conservation so the requirements may be relaxed. You will still need to apply though.

So, if you can avoid a full re-roof then you may circumvent this requirement.

Beware that the Conservation Officer works for the same council as the BCO so they may be aware of this and keep a closer eye on the work.

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