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    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 19th Jun 17, 12:43 PM
    • 704Posts
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    wallofbeans
    contesting listing
    • #1
    • 19th Jun 17, 12:43 PM
    contesting listing 19th Jun 17 at 12:43 PM
    Hello all,
    Our house is in a terrace of identical houses, which is in an estate of 6 streets of more identical houses. A handful of them are grade 2 listed as examples, ours being part of one section that is listed like this. The houses were built in 1873 and the listing has been in place since the 80s I think, a long time before we moved in.

    We are seeing lots of people in the area convert lofts and build side returns but because of the listing on our section, we are very restricted in how much we can do (especially with regard to converting a loft space into an official bedroom).

    We have heard that listings can be contested but I thought that I'd ask people here for their experience of this kind of thing. Is it possible? How likely is it to happen? Where do I start?

    The frustrating thing with the situation is that people in identical houses on the same street as us, don't have a listing and can do a lot more to their property than we can. And it all seems a little random and unfair - I'd like the listing to be on all the houses here or none at all. But I assume that's not going to happen. I can but dream!

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice you can give...
Page 1
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 19th Jun 17, 1:14 PM
    • 1,830 Posts
    • 2,666 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    • #2
    • 19th Jun 17, 1:14 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Jun 17, 1:14 PM
    I wonder if only a small number were listed as they were the least modified/closest to being as originally built at the time of listing - perhaps other streets were already 'too far gone'.

    Anyway, as you say, they were listed long before you got there, so you clearly knew you were buying a listed building when you moved there, and that it would be considerably more difficult to convert, extend, etc. I also assume there might have been a price premium or prestige associated with living in a listed property which you were happy to accept?

    To now claim "it's not fair" that you can't convert or extend when your unlisted neighbours can smacks of a fundamental lack of comprehension as to what you were buying, or wanting to have you cake and eat it: the prestige of living in a listed property with the freedom to do what you like with it. Well, sorry, but buildings are listed to prevent the sort of modifications you're looking to undertake, so I suspect it's simply not going to happen, especially if examples such as yours aren't that numerous.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 19th Jun 17, 1:29 PM
    • 704 Posts
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    wallofbeans
    • #3
    • 19th Jun 17, 1:29 PM
    • #3
    • 19th Jun 17, 1:29 PM
    I wonder if only a small number were listed as they were the least modified/closest to being as originally built at the time of listing - perhaps other streets were already 'too far gone'.

    Anyway, as you say, they were listed long before you got there, so you clearly knew you were buying a listed building when you moved there, and that it would be considerably more difficult to convert, extend, etc. I also assume there might have been a price premium or prestige associated with living in a listed property which you were happy to accept?

    To now claim "it's not fair" that you can't convert or extend when your unlisted neighbours can smacks of a fundamental lack of comprehension as to what you were buying, or wanting to have you cake and eat it: the prestige of living in a listed property with the freedom to do what you like with it. Well, sorry, but buildings are listed to prevent the sort of modifications you're looking to undertake, so I suspect it's simply not going to happen, especially if examples such as yours aren't that numerous.
    Originally posted by ReadingTim
    It was my other half who bought it and she didn't have a clue what she was getting into at the time and didn't have any thoughts of every wanted to do any work. So it was naivety for sure. She basically bought the wrong house, and should have waited to find another one in the same estate that was a little further down the street.

    There is nothing different about these house than all the rest. It really was just random mid sections of two of the streets that they decided to list. The whole estate is a conservation area and the houses are identical. So much so that many people get lost trying to find our house. I'm guessing there is 600 almost identical houses and maybe 50 that are listed.

    And if anything our house is worse than others as the windows were converted to horrible metal ones in the 1970s and are not the official sash that they should be. But because they were done before we moved in and before the listing we don't have to change them. We'd like to though but the listing is making it so difficult to do so. There is no prestige of living here. They are 2 bed terraced houses and a mix of council and privately owned. And nothing different about our house from the ones five doors down that aren't listed.

    One frustrating aspect is that the houses either side of us are council owned and they have retiled the roof and changed windows and front doors to things that we would not be allowed to do. These are listed houses too, but because the council own them, I guess they can do whatever they want.
    Last edited by wallofbeans; 19-06-2017 at 1:34 PM.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 19th Jun 17, 3:37 PM
    • 23,553 Posts
    • 65,676 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #4
    • 19th Jun 17, 3:37 PM
    • #4
    • 19th Jun 17, 3:37 PM
    Being listed doesn't prevent you from building. It needs Listed Building Consent, that is all. I would think that is a lesser hurdle than trying to get a listing removed altogether. Have you made any applications?

    They are hugely under-staffed across the country, but an initial conversation with a Conservation Officer is probably your first port of call. Whether you can have that chat without paying some sort of pre-app fee, I am not sure. Give your local authority a call.

    Have you found your actual Listing and read it? It will say what is of interest. The whole building itself is listed but the Listing details the interesting bits. If your house is so bad, I'd be interested to see what it says is important! Put your postcode in here:
    https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 19-06-2017 at 4:08 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 19th Jun 17, 5:13 PM
    • 704 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    • #5
    • 19th Jun 17, 5:13 PM
    • #5
    • 19th Jun 17, 5:13 PM
    Being listed doesn't prevent you from building. It needs Listed Building Consent, that is all. I would think that is a lesser hurdle than trying to get a listing removed altogether. Have you made any applications?

    They are hugely under-staffed across the country, but an initial conversation with a Conservation Officer is probably your first port of call. Whether you can have that chat without paying some sort of pre-app fee, I am not sure. Give your local authority a call.

    Have you found your actual Listing and read it? It will say what is of interest. The whole building itself is listed but the Listing details the interesting bits. If your house is so bad, I'd be interested to see what it says is important! Put your postcode in here:
    https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    It's the front of the house mainly. Nothing inside. And they have issues with the roof at the back. So we are constricted in that we can't have windows in the roof at the front and cant have the full squaring off of the roof at the back. Plus there's a lot of hoops to jump through about roof tiles and the specifics of the sash windows etc (which neither of the council owned properties either side of us - both listed as well - have had to deal with).

    The specifics of the materials and the windows aren't an issue as we want to keep the house as authentic as possible in that way. But when we see other houses a few doors down being able to do a full loft conversion and we can't so will have to move instead to get a third bedroom, it gets a little frustrating.

    We have a good idea what they will let us have. It's not as much space as we want, but we are considering it. What I don't want to happen is to go head and do it and then they lift the listing in a few years. If there's a chance of removing it then I'd like to try that before committing to doing work that isn't quite what we need, or having to move house.

    I just wondered if anyone had the experience or insight to advise me on whether that is worth trying or would I be wasting my time?

    Thanks so much for the advice so far.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 19th Jun 17, 5:26 PM
    • 23,553 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #6
    • 19th Jun 17, 5:26 PM
    • #6
    • 19th Jun 17, 5:26 PM
    Will the extra space add a lot of value?

    If you think it's worth it then perhaps engage a planning consultant for a couple of hours to sound out what they think?
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 19th Jun 17, 5:42 PM
    • 704 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    • #7
    • 19th Jun 17, 5:42 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Jun 17, 5:42 PM
    Will the extra space add a lot of value?

    If you think it's worth it then perhaps engage a planning consultant for a couple of hours to sound out what they think?
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Some value. But probably not much more than the cost as it wont be able to be a proper bedroom. We've talked to them quite a lot. Had plans drawn. And yes, have heard we can have a 'planning meeting' for around £280 I think. This will certainly clarify what they will let us do. But I might just get annoyed that they seem to have one rule for themselves and another for me.

    Thanks!
    • Callie22
    • By Callie22 19th Jun 17, 6:09 PM
    • 2,820 Posts
    • 7,724 Thanks
    Callie22
    • #8
    • 19th Jun 17, 6:09 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Jun 17, 6:09 PM
    FWIW, apparently there was a big push in the 80s to get buildings listed, with some local authorities offering grants etc to the owners of listed properties. That scheme didn't last very long but the legacy is that there are quite a lot of fairly 'ordinary' buildings that were listed around that time. The only reason I know this is because the house next door to my parents' home was listed in the early 80s because the owner wanted to capitalise on these grants - sadly he never got any and the house has been neglected ever since, because he can't afford to renovate it to the required standard. The neighbour also 'accidentally' listed part of my parents' property (looong story) and they've been making enquiries about how to get that part of their property delisted. It is apparently possible but it appears to be quite a long, drawn-out process. The local authority and Historic England haven't been particularly helpful either.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 20th Jun 17, 9:46 AM
    • 704 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    • #9
    • 20th Jun 17, 9:46 AM
    • #9
    • 20th Jun 17, 9:46 AM
    FWIW, apparently there was a big push in the 80s to get buildings listed, with some local authorities offering grants etc to the owners of listed properties. That scheme didn't last very long but the legacy is that there are quite a lot of fairly 'ordinary' buildings that were listed around that time. The only reason I know this is because the house next door to my parents' home was listed in the early 80s because the owner wanted to capitalise on these grants - sadly he never got any and the house has been neglected ever since, because he can't afford to renovate it to the required standard. The neighbour also 'accidentally' listed part of my parents' property (looong story) and they've been making enquiries about how to get that part of their property delisted. It is apparently possible but it appears to be quite a long, drawn-out process. The local authority and Historic England haven't been particularly helpful either.
    Originally posted by Callie22
    This sounds like it might be similar. Thanks for the info. I hope your parents can get it sorted out!
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 20th Jun 17, 10:16 AM
    • 975 Posts
    • 673 Thanks
    teneighty
    I cannot help with the issue of removing the listing status but would offer some advice following Doozer's comment.

    Listed Building Consent can be achieved it just requires a more sympathetic approach and a few more hoops to jump through, heritage statements etc.

    I would suggest using an architectural designer who has experience of listed buildings as it is quite a specialist field, not just your bog standard extension designers. A loft conversion and rear side return should not be totally impossible provided it is sympathetic. I have just obtained listed building consent and planning permission for a side extension on a Grade 2 listed 17th century farmhouse also in a conservation area and a national park.

    It can be challenging but if the design respects the historic character and fabric of the building and the designer can put forward a coherent argument to support the proposal then it can be done.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 20th Jun 17, 11:56 AM
    • 361 Posts
    • 154 Thanks
    sevenhills
    Will the extra space add a lot of value?

    If you think it's worth it then perhaps engage a planning consultant for a couple of hours to sound out what they think?
    Originally posted by Doozergirl
    Maybe a local councillor could help?

    All listed buildings are different and unique, what is actually covered by a listing can vary quite widely. It is best, therefore, to check this with your local planning authority.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 22nd Jun 17, 11:59 AM
    • 704 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    FWIW, apparently there was a big push in the 80s to get buildings listed, with some local authorities offering grants etc to the owners of listed properties. That scheme didn't last very long but the legacy is that there are quite a lot of fairly 'ordinary' buildings that were listed around that time. The only reason I know this is because the house next door to my parents' home was listed in the early 80s because the owner wanted to capitalise on these grants - sadly he never got any and the house has been neglected ever since, because he can't afford to renovate it to the required standard. The neighbour also 'accidentally' listed part of my parents' property (looong story) and they've been making enquiries about how to get that part of their property delisted. It is apparently possible but it appears to be quite a long, drawn-out process. The local authority and Historic England haven't been particularly helpful either.
    Originally posted by Callie22
    I've just looked into this and thought you might be interested -- my house was listed in April 1983. It was a chunk of one street (around 30 houses) that were listed seemingly randomly from an estate of over 600. My other half tells me me have even had the council visit the house recently and confirm that there is nothing specific about this house that makes it stand out from the others in the area.

    My question to you is - can you (or your parents) offer any insight into where I start enquiring about how to get it delisted?

    I thought that it might be smart to team up with other people on this section of street, as us going to the council as a group could give us a stronger case. I think I'm going to write a letter and post through all the relevant doors.
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