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Listed buildings

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There are around 770 individual listed buildings and structures in Preston.

These range from the Grade I listed Harris Museum and St. Walburge's Church to structures such as the three Grade II listed milestones on Garstang Road. Buildings are listed for their special historic or architectural merit.

Who decides which buildings are listed?

The Department of Culture Media and Sport are responsible for deciding which buildings go on the lists from information given to them by Historic England.

Search for a listed building

Anyone may suggest buildings for listing, but a building will only be included on the list if it is judged to be of special interest after being visited by one of Historic England's Inspectors.

What do the grades mean?

The buildings on the list are classified into grades to show their relative importance.

Grade I buildings of exceptional interest - about 2% of all listed buildings.

Grade II * Particularly important buildings of more than special interest about 4% of all listed buildings.

Grade II Buildings of special interest which warrant every effort being made to preserve them.

There are 3 Grade I and 20 Grade II* buildings in the Borough.

What protection does listing give a building?

Buildings are listed to protect them from demolition or insensitive alterations, although this does not mean that a listed building has to be preserved exactly as it is in all circumstances.

Some alterations may be necessary to make use of the building or even to improve its appearance, but you cannot demolish, part demolish or extend a listed building or alter it either outside or inside in any way which would change its character without written consent from the City Council in the form of a Listed Building Consent.

It is an offence to carry out work on a listed building without consent and to do so could lead to a fine or imprisonment or both.

The offender could also be liable for the cost of restoring the building. If you are in any doubt whether you need Listed Building Consent for work you intend to carry out, ask at the Planning Division at Lancastria House, Preston. It could save you a lot of trouble.

What is covered by this protection?

The whole of the listed building both outside and inside is protected from demolition or alteration including any structures which are attached to the listed buildings. For example, this could include walls, summerhouses or outbuildings of any description whether attached to the main building or not.

All such items are treated as parts of the listed building and consent is needed for any work to them just as it would be for the main building. This applies to later additions as well as features which were part of the group of buildings from the start.

Some items may not be specifically mentioned in the list description but they are still protected and consent is needed to alter or remove them.

How can I find out whether a building is listed?

You can search on the Historic England website to find out if a building is listed.

Alternatively you can use our Planning Public Maps search.

Listed Buildings are registered in the Local Land Charges Register so the fact that a building is listed should be revealed in any searches when buying a property.

The National Heritage List for England

The National Heritage List for England The National Heritage List for England is the only official and up to date database of all nationally designated heritage assets including: Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments, Protected Wreck Sites, Registered Parks and Gardens, Registered Battlefields, World Heritage Sites, Applications for Certificates of Immunity (COIs), Current Building Preservation Notices (BPNs).

World Heritage Sites are recorded on the List, but these sites are separately inscribed by UNESCO.

Is consent likely to be given for the demolition of a listed building?

Consent is always needed to demolish or part demolish a listed building, but whether it is given will depend mainly on how important the building is, what condition it is in and what use can be found for it.

Total demolition will only be allowed in very exceptional circumstances after all other alternatives have been fully considered. Preference will always be given to finding another use for a listed building and owners will be encouraged to sell rather than demolish buildings for which they have no further use.

Demolition of part of a listed building or group may be allowed where it can be shown that the building or group would benefit. For instance poor, later extensions may hide earlier features, but this should not be taken for granted and consent must be obtained before work starts.

What alterations need consent?

Listed Building Consent is required for any alterations which affect the character of a listed building. For instance consent would be needed for any of the following alterations, but remember these are only examples and other work may also need consent:


  • Changing the roof pitch or material or coating the existing roof.
  • Altering or removing chimney stacks or pots.
  • Rebuilding walls in different materials.
  • Covering the existing wall surface in any way eg. with render, stone cladding, paint.
  • Changing the size of door, window or other openings.
  • Forming new openings for any reason, including for a balanced flue or ventilator.
  • Altering window frames or doors or replacing them with a different type.
  • Removing any features (eg. decorative eaves, door-case).
  • Adding any features (blinds, porches, signs).
  • Adding an extension or dormer window. 


  • Altering the plan by removing or adding walls or forming new openings.
  • Taking out or altering staircases, fireplaces, plaster mouldings, panelling, shutters, doors or any other significant features.
  • Putting in new ceilings, partitions etc.

Note: All these alterations would need consent regardless of whether they involved items which were part of the original building or were later additions.

How can I find out if consent is required?

If you would like to know whether Listed Building Consent is required for any specific work please contact the Planning Department where a Planning Officer will be able to advise you.

It is usually advisable to find out whether certain alterations need consent and, if so, whether they are likely to get consent before getting detailed plans drawn up as it can save time and money.

How is an application for Listed Building Consent made?

The applicant has to complete a form obtained from the Planning Department or on-line via the Planning Portal. There is no fee for a listed building application.

The level of information required will depend on the extent of the work planned however in most cases detailed plans and elevations will be required showing the existing appearance of the building and how it will look after the work has been carried out.

The Council is required to consult a number of statutory bodies and to advertise the application locally to give amenity societies and the public the opportunity to comment on the proposals. They will take any comments which are received into account in determining the application.

The application must be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement. 

The statement will need to explain and justify the approach to ensuring that the listed building preserves or enhances its special historic and architectural importance.

Where there is potentially an aspect of design that will impact on this, the statement should explain why this is necessary, and what measures within the approach to design have been taken to minimise its impact.

What happens if consent is refused?

If an application for Listed Building Consent is refused by the City Council, or only granted subject to conditions, the applicant has the right to appeal to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, who will appoint an Inspector to examine whether the refusal or the conditions are reasonable.

Will planning permission be needed as well?

Some work to a listed building will need Planning Permission just as it would if the building were not listed.

This must be applied for separately, in addition to Listed Building Consent and a fee will be payable.

The Planning Department will advise whether Planning Permission is required.

Note - Even if Planning Permission is granted, a separate Listed Building Consent is required before the building can be demolished or any work carried out which affects its character.

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