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Internal changes to a Grade II listed flat?

(15 Posts)
FloweryDuchessa Thu 30-Oct-14 19:03:42

After much search and being gazumped twice we are now thinking of putting in an offer on a flat. It's in a conservation area and the flat is in a building which is Grade II listed. Pretty normal for the conservation area however the flat is a wreck! We would want full internal re workings plus adding in double glazed windows (I know this is contentious).

Does anyone have experience of this?

Reading other comments online has potentially put me off the flat but after a year long search we are fed up and want to buy and make a home somewhere! Please either tell I'm being stupid and people buy and live in listed flats or that I should run far away from this place and wait it out until the market picks up again after Christmas.

OliviaBenson Thu 30-Oct-14 19:09:42

If you can live with it as is then buy it, but if not then don't.

You will need listed building consent for any internal changes. Any repairs need to be like for like (lime plaster etc). You won't be able to remove chimneys etc. changes to layout can be contentious.

Windows - you are highly unlikely to get permission for double glazing- if that is a deal breaker then it's not the flat for you. You can refurbish windows which will improve their efficiency no end (draft stripping etc). English heritage has new guidance out on historic windows.

SPAB and the listed building property owners club give good advice.

JuxtheDaemonVampire Thu 30-Oct-14 19:44:11

Phone the relevant planning officer, tell them what you want to do, if poss have a meeting and take photos with you etc.

FloweryDuchessa Thu 30-Oct-14 19:50:20

Olivia No one could live in as it is. It's been on a while and the price has come down 30k. It desperately needs new bathroom & kitchen plus it would be better to take down a stud wall (it's probably not original). In a ideal world it would need the interior reconfigured to make better use of space and that's what we would want to do. It was previously being rented and the owner has never lived in it. It doesn't feel like it's ever been a home, it's a roof over someone's head.

Between the listing and the leasehold situation I'm starting to think we are not going to put in a offer. sad

I'm not sure I can hold my nerve much longer. Soon enough we will be issued with an eviction notice from our rented flat and we still won't have moved any further then we have now.

wigglybeezer Thu 30-Oct-14 20:09:48

We have just taken down an internal wall and re-sited a kitchen and removed a floor/ceiling to put in a staircase in a listed building (with permission). it helped that a previous mad DIYer had already removed most of the original features in the 1970's so no further damage was being done. The windows are being draft-proofed however as we would have to have replica double glazed windows made which would be horrendously expensive.

Rockdoctor Thu 30-Oct-14 20:45:03

I think it is highly unlikely you would be allowed to do anything with the windows other than refurbish them.

Refurbishing the bathroom and kitchen shouldn't be a problem and you might be able to do something with the floor plan, but bear in mind that any materials you use will have to be sympathetic with the building (eg. lime plaster), so therefore more expensive than in an unlisted building.

You could try talking to the local planning officer, but it is very dependent upon where you are - many of them will not discuss "hypotheticals" but it is possible to build a relationship and get good advice from them once you own the property.

JuxtheDaemonVampire Thu 30-Oct-14 20:54:26

Our house is GII listed. At one point it had been turned into a load of bedsits, the kitchen has been moved from room to room, countless changes made internally. Before we put in our offer, we had a meeting with the planning officer to run through all the things we wanted to do from installing solar panels, to moving internal walls. The officer was really only interested in what it would do to the outside appearance. Anything inside, she barely looked at. The most contentious thing was tie bars as they have an external end, but without them the front wall would have fallen off, so we didn't have problems getting permission.

That's it.

Just phone up and ask.

JuxtheDaemonVampire Thu 30-Oct-14 20:59:33

They expected us to double glaze and upvc the Georgian sash windows, and were OK so long as they had the same size and number of panes, ie, that they looked pretty much the same. In fact, double glazing and upvc-ing windows was the one thing we'd had no intention of doing!

Truelymadlysleepy Thu 30-Oct-14 21:03:46

We've had double glazing put in timber framed stone mullions, there's some special very thin glass on the market.
Not a budget option though, but doable.
Heritage were tricky with us about somethings, lenient about others.
I'd suggest an informal chat with them before you put an offer in.

BringYourOwnSnowman Thu 30-Oct-14 21:08:24

You may struggle with double glazing because of the conservation area. At the back you may manage it.

Have a look at other houses to see what precedent has been set

BringYourOwnSnowman Thu 30-Oct-14 21:09:07

And different planning departments have different standards so may be worth calling up and asking for advice

FullOfChoc Thu 30-Oct-14 21:10:57

We are going for these in our G2 listed house, when we have saved up!

Truelymadlysleepy Thu 30-Oct-14 21:15:59

This is ours.

PigletJohn Thu 30-Oct-14 21:17:10

you may be OK with secondary glazing. It can be very unobtrusive. There will be a conservation officer who probably loves looking at old houses and discussing them.

FloweryDuchessa Thu 30-Oct-14 21:42:49

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll the planning officer a call tomorrow for an informal chat. We are also interviewing architects since it's likely to be complicated.

Any one with experience with Southwark council?

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