What are Listed Buildings?

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Listed Buildings are buildings which are deemed to have special architectural or historic interest, compiled by Historic England on behalf of the Secretary of State in a register published by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The Council is not responsible for listing buildings.

There are over 600 listed buildings and structures in the borough of Ipswich. These cover a whole range of building types from Medieval churches, Victorian residences to 1980’s school buildings. The wide variety of buildings from such a vast period contribute to the special character of Ipswich and tell the history of the town, and also the nation. In order to preserve the historic and architectural interest of these listed buildings, they enjoy special protected status under the law, with the Council having a statutory duty to protect them from harm. The Council aims to work with owners and occupiers to ensure that these important buildings are retained for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

To check whether a building is listed, head to the National Heritage List for England (NHLE) on the Historic England website to search for addresses and read list descriptions.

Where a building is listed, Listed Building Consent would need to be granted by the Council for any works which could affect the special interest of the building. This would include demolition, alterations or extensions to the building (including works to the building's interior). It is a criminal offence to instruct or carry out works to a listed building without first obtaining listed building consent. If you are not sure whether listed building consent is required for work you propose to carry out, please contact the Council’s Conservation and Urban Design Team for further assistance.

The listed status of a building does not prevent alterations, however is there to ensure that those alterations are sympathetic to the character and special interest of the listed building, and would not harm the historic or architectural appearance of the building.

Buildings are graded by Historic England and fall into three categories:

Grade I: These are buildings of exceptional interest. Only 2.5% of buildings nationally are Grade I listed.
Grade II*: These are particularly important buildings of more than special interest. 5.8% of listed builds nationally are Grade II*.
Grade II: These are buildings of special interest; 91.7% of listed buildings nationally are Grade II.

The listed building controls apply to all buildings equally, irrespective of their grade.

How much of a building is covered by listing?

All of it: (including its interior). The listing often applies to later additions and alterations as well as the original structure, whether specifically mentioned in the list description or not. Absence of a feature from the list description (whether external or internal) does not indicate that it is not of interest or that it can be removed or altered without consent. Interiors are rarely described but this is not to be taken as an indication that they are excluded from protection either. If only a part of the building is protected, the list entry will carry a clear note to this effect.

If you are unsure on the extent of listing for your property, please contact the Conservation and Urban Design team for further advice.

Does listing extend beyond the building itself?

Yes. If a building is listed, this will also extend to any structures within the curtilage of the building at the time it was listed, including outbuildings, walls which were built before 1st July 1948. Listed building consent would therefore also be required to works which could affect the significance of these buildings.

Informing the owner of a building's listing

When the building is listed, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport will inform the owner. However, the Council is also obliged to send a formal notification to the owner. Although the owner will receive a brief description of the building, this is an aid to identification only.

If a building is being purchased, the Local Land Charges Search will identify whether it is listed or not. This should be pointed out by the purchaser's solicitor, as a notice drawing specific attention to this will be included with the search results from the Council.

Contact Details

Conservation and Urban Design,
Ipswich Borough Council,
3W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,

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01473 432934