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Obtaining planning permission for listed buildings

How does it work?

The step by step of a Grade II listed building


First is to discuss the client’s needs. In this case, it was about internal alterations, plus an extension to the garden house.

He provided a list of his concerns and exposed his ideas over an on-site meeting. 

Following this meeting, I proposed the scope of work and a related fee for his approval. The fee proposed covers minor changes to the brief, but significant changes mean a new scope of work and, therefore, a new fee.

Generally, work can start as soon as the contract is signed. No advanced fee is required.

In addition, Professional Indemnity Insurance covers Historic Building Studio’s work for everyone’s peace of mind.


View of main facade and landscape

Case study Grade II listed building in Hampshire

archive image found in research for the planning permission of this grade II listed building

Research and analysis

In general, all projects require:

  • Site visit
  • Photography to inform the reports
  • Measured survey
  • Visit the local archives
  • History and planning research

However, the scope of work is always bespoke to the building and the client’s needs. For instance, I carried out the research at the British Library and the local archives in this project. In other cases, I might need to visit the local or  National Archives instead.

Due to the scale of this project, the client commissioned a measured survey. But if the work is minor, I can carry out a localised measured survey. If you need to commission a third party to produce plans, I can define a bespoke scope of work to request quotes. That way, we make sure the measured survey suits your project.


To understand the significance of the building and its context.

The planning and historic research, the understanding and analysis of the site, its constraints and characteristics will feed the design process.

Diagram indicating an structural element for the planning permission process

Work with the structural engineer

Although I acted as an architect and heritage consultant, in this case, I can also work with your architect if you prefer.

Similarly, I can work with your preferred structural engineer or bring one to the team. I work with structural engineers specialising in the works of historic buildings.

The structural engineer and the rest of the team worked collaboratively to design the best solution for the client and his building. This means the process might not be straightforward, and ideas will need to be discussed and contrasted by all the experts involved.


To put forward a proposal that works for you and your building, avoiding post-planning surprises.

With a proposal that respects the significance of your building, instead of harming it, your chances of obtaining planning permission increase.

Diagram of listed building showing existing plan for planning
Diagram of listed building showing proposed plan for planning

Planning proposal

Moreover, if I work as your architect and your heritage consultant, I will develop a Design and Access Statement as part of the documents submitted for planning.

If I am involved only as a heritage consultant, I will advise your architect and review their drawings and reports. Consequently, I develop the heritage documents and architectural proposals simultaneously. 

My heritage reports cover a summary of the research findings. They guide planners through the main elements of the building and clarify the relationship between the significance of the building and the works proposed. To illustrate the points raised, I include diagrams and images.


Produce the right documents for the application:

  • Design & Access Statement
  • Heritage Statement
  • Heritage Impact Assessment
  • Existing Drawings
  • Proposed Drawings

To learn more about the documents required for the planning application of listed buildings visit the Planning Portal website.

planning permission obtained for this listed building

Planning application

Before submission, The client reviewed and commented on the final draft to ensure that the submitted documents fulfilled his brief.

As your architect, I act as your agent for the planning application and listed building consent. I upload all the reports and drawings and fill the required forms in the Planning Portal.

Following the submission, I will support you through the Validation Process. I respond to any council queries during that time until the application is accepted. 

From that point, the council has eight weeks to provide an answer unless they require an extension of time.

What about your building?