Designations and constraints

Listed buildings

Listed building consent is required for any internal or external alterations or extensions to a listed building, with the exception of repair and maintenance works that are undertaken on a like-for-like basis (eg replacing an old gutter with a new gutter of the same material and finish). Any alterations to boundary walls or outbuildings, or the erection of a new outbuilding, is also likely to require consent.

If you own or develop a listed building you have a legal responsibility to preserve it. You must check if listed building consent is required before undertaking any work to it as it is a criminal offence to carry out work to a statutorily listed building without permission and we can prosecute if work is carried out illegally.  Understanding the significance of the building or structure will assist you in sensitively considering how to preserve or enhance your heritage asset.

There are some standard requirements (application form, plans, Design and Access Statement incorporating a heritage statement) and potentially some site specific requirements (eg tree surveys).  For advice please refer to our Planning Application Validation Guide (PDF, 2.6MB).  No fee is associated with this application. You can apply online at the Planning Portal.


There are over 1300 statutorily listed buildings in the Lancaster district. A statutory listed building is a building or structure which the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport considers to be of special architectural or historical interest.  (Please note that Lancaster City Council cannot remove a building from the statutory list - this can only be done by application to the DCMS). Listing a building gives it legal protection, so that it can be preserved for future generations to enjoy. Statutory listed buildings are graded to show their importance:

  • Grade I - buildings of exceptional quality
  • Grade II* - particularly important buildings. 
  • Grade II - the majority of listed buildings of special interest

Such buildings are given special protection and you will have to apply for Listed Building Consent (normally in addition to planning permission) where works involve demolition or alterations or an extension which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The whole of a building is Listed - the exterior and interior, together with any outhouse, wall or other structure built before 1 July 1948 within the grounds of the building. Statutory listing does not mean that you cannot make changes. You must take care to match original materials and construction methods, and avoid damaging features of historic or architectural value.

Further information

For further information, please refer to Listed Buildings – The Guide for Owners and Developers (PDF, 253KB) and see our main Conservation web page.

Last updated: 21 June 2018