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Building Consent Vs Planning Permission

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  • listed building consent, difference
  • Posted date:
  • 27-09-2021
Building Consent Vs Planning Permission

What is the difference between listed building consent and planning permission?

What is the difference between listed building consent and planning permission? We look at when planning permission is required and why listed building consent may be required.

Bob Trimble is a chartered architect registered with RIBA with 30 years experience in the industry. Trimble Architects work throughout Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston Upon Thames, Teddington and the surrounding areas of London.

Planning permission is something that is needed for any alterations or extensions to your home; this could be for an extension, loft conversion and many more things. Suppose you are unsure of whether the plans you have made will need planning permission. In that case, it's always best to get advice and information from your local planning authority and use their services to advise on how to do the building works differently to gain permission.

Listed building consent is related to planning permission. Still, it is different as you will need to acquire permission for any alterations interior and exterior, and the work must not ruin the original character of the listed building.

What is Planning permission?

Planning permission is asking if you can do some work to a building or to build something new. It is currently needed for most new buildings.

The people you would be asking permission from are usually your local planning authorities; they were given this responsibility by the parliament.

The planning permission must be granted before any work is carried out.

The responsibility for gaining this permission is down to you.

If you go ahead with the building work without asking permission or after being denied, you will have committed a planning breach. 


 What Is The Difference Between Listed Building Consent And Planning Permission?

If this breach is committed because a previous application has failed, then the council can issue an enforcement notice which will require you to put things back as they were initially.

This will generally be because the local council think what you are doing is harmful to the neighbourhood. An enforcement notice can be appealed against along with refusals, but if the appeal is denied and you carry on with the building work, this is a criminal offence, and you may be prosecuted.

What is Listed building consent?


There are many listed buildings across the UK and other countries and for many different reasons.

If an individual wants to alter, extend or demolish the building, they will need listed building consent from the local planning authority and Historic England; always search for advice if you are unsure.

The listed part of the building can include anything internal and external, not just the foundations and walls.

This means that if any restoration is needed to windows, you may still need to gain listed building consent. The local planning authority deals with all listed building consent applications. An individual's local district will depend on which region of the country the building is in, not where the individual lives.

Do you need Planning Permission or Listed Building Consent?

Listed Building Consent

When building onto your current property or making alterations to a listed building, it is required to apply for planning permission or listed building consent, or in some cases, both. If you are ever in doubt on whether this is relevant for the type of work you are planning, always check with your local planning authorities first.

There are currently laws in place that protect both homeowners, the community and listed buildings, so failure to comply with these can lead to a planning breach and sometimes prosecution.

To make any changes to a listed building, you must apply for listed building consent from the local authority. 

This covers not only the structural framework but anything from changing a window or door.

Demolition of any part of a listed building also requires listed building consent, for example knocking down an out of date lean-to or conservatory.


To put it simply, any work that can affect the character or appearance of the property that is a building of special architectural or historic interest must acquire listed building consent.


In these situations, the local planning authority will give you advice on what is and isn't allowed and maybe come up with a solution to replace it with something more suitable.

It's important to note that listed building consent wasn't put in place to completely stop individuals from modernising their homes. 

It is to protect the original character of the building and oversee any alterations, so most of the time, simple changes will be approved.

Planning Permission

Planning permission is slightly different, but you will also get this permission from the local planning authority. Suppose you plan on making any exterior alterations to your home, for example, an extended loft conversion. In that case, it may fall under the umbrella of Permitted Development Acts.

Still, it's always best to seek advice from your local planning authority as the alteration could affect conservation areas. 

Something that should be considered before carrying out the work on your home is your neighbours.

Will your extension be blocking their views or light to any area? If so, you may be affecting their "right to light", and they are within their rights to pursue legal action. 

If you need to gain access to your neighbours garden or areas at any point during the alterations, you must, of course, make sure you have their consent.


When you apply for planning permission on the site, the neighbours will be asked for their views on your plans and will be asked if they object.

You will find that this will make the decision much more difficult.

Are you planning to work on a listed building in Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston Upon Thames or Teddington? We offer advice on planning permission for listed buildings throughout London and the surrounding areas.

 Architects Near Me

Are you looking for architects near me? If you are looking for RIBA local architect services in Twickenham and the surrounding areas. Trimble Architects works with clients throughout London and the surrounding areas including:

Bob Trimble is a chartered architect registered with RIBA. Bob Trimble has 30 years of experience working with residential and commercial property projects. For 4 years, Bob Trimble has worked from his housing association and private architectural practice for clients throughout Hounslow, Twickenham, Richmond, Kingston Upon Thames, Teddington and the surrounding areas of London.