Permission to alter a listed building

You should always check whether you need permission well before starting any work. You will need Listed Building Consent (Historic England) for any work that will affect the character of your building. Applications can be submitted on the Planning Portal Website.

What work do I need listed building consent for?

Applications will need to be made for work to the inside, as well as the outside, of listed buildings. This may even include quite small alterations or redecoration (for example, if you want to paint the outside walls and they have not previously been painted).

Listed building consent will always be required for:

  • Any demolition, including chimneys, internal walls, and buildings and walls within the grounds.
  • Any alteration or extension to the building.

You should also check whether you need any other permissions before starting work using these resources:

For householder and Urban Design guidance for developments in Coventry please see the Coventry Local Supplementary Planning Documents Design Guides.

Adding or removing a building from the Statutory List

We cannot add or remove a building from the Statutory List - this can only be done by applying to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Historic England website: how to get historic buildings or sites protected through Listing.

The Law

It is a criminal offence to carry out work to a listed building without permission and the Council can prosecute if work is carried out illegally. The maximum sentence on conviction in the Magistrates' Court is imprisonment for up to six months, a fine of up to £20,000 or both. If convicted in the Crown Court the maximum sentence is two years' imprisonment, or an unlimited fine. In determining the amount of any fine, the court will take into account any financial gain by the offender as a result of the offence. As well as prosecuting an owner for carrying out works without permission, the Council can issue an Enforcement Notice, which means that the owner must put the building back into its original condition. Failure to obey an Enforcement Notice can lead to a fine of up to £20,000 in the Magistrates' Court, or an unlimited fine in the Crown Court.

Where can I find specialist advice?

It is important to obtain expert advice when considering alterations and repairs to Listed Buildings. You are strongly advised to use the professional services of architects and surveyors who specialise in historic buildings. Surveyors can provide advice on the structural condition of the building's fabric, and works required for its maintenance and repair. Architects are able to provide similar advice but it is particularly important to obtain their specialist advice where alterations and repairs have an effect on historic detail and design. In both cases you should find a consultant who specialises in your type of historic building.

The following specialist organisations and interest groups will be able to provide you with detailed advice or put you in touch with local specialists:


Address: PO Box 15
Council House
Earl Street