Listed buildings

Listed Building Consent

Applications for listed building consent are made to the council.  Download a listed building application form or request one from planning services.

The following information has been provided as a general guideline and overview regarding listed properties in Thanet and will likely vary across different properties. If you have further queries please contact Thanet Councils Senior Conservation Officer through the following email address: josie.frazer@thanet.gov.uk.

Please provide your name, address and images, where relevant, for an informal discussion when getting in contact.

For more detailed and written feedback you will need to apply for formal pre application advice, which can be applied for through our website – Pre-application advice.


A listed building is a building or other structure which is deemed to be of special architectural or historic interest and included on the Statutory List drawn up by Historic England with approval of the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport

Buildings are chosen according to their;

  • Architectural interest
  • Historic interest
  • Close Historical associations
  • Group value

Age and rarity are also considerations.

The listed building is given a grade reflecting its importance:

  • Grade II – of special interest warranting every effort to preserve them.  Some 95% of listed buildings have this grade
  • Grade II* – particularly important buildings of more than special interest
  • Grade I – buildings are those of exceptional interest

The listing includes the building itself and any object or structure fixed to it. Any object or structure within the boundaries of the property (known as the curtilage) is automatically covered if it existed before 1948. Examples of this might include garden features, boundaries or paths and steps, smaller out buildings including barns and sheds may also be considered to be ‘curtilage listed’.
The building is listed in its entirety; there is no such thing as a listed roof or interior and it is a misconception that the level of Grade a listed property is associated with internal or external features.

This is not the case and if a property is listed this refers to the entirety of the structure unless the listing description specifically mentions otherwise.

For example ‘The concrete structure to the rear of the site is not considered to contribute to the property and therefore is not part of the listing’.

All assets included on the statuary list include a description to help identify the correct building but some do not have as comprehensive records of all important features of the listed structure. A feature might still be deemed important or significant even if it is not included in the list description.


With listed properties it is generally advised that anything more than a repair of existing fabric would require a listed building consent. Another good way to judge it would be if any new material was being added to the property, differing from the existing, this would need permission. 

A rough gauge of size is typically 5m2, anything larger than this is a much larger replacement. 

For example, if you were repairing timber windows which included sanding them, perhaps replacing a small amount of like for like timber and repainting them in the same colour this wouldn’t require permission. 

However if you were proposing their removal or replacement with a different type of wood, aluminium or UPVC, or new installation of glass this would. Specifically with windows, it is also advisable that if they leave the site to undertake repairs, this also requires a consent, this is to safeguard the historic integrity of the property. 

Any repairs or alterations undertaken to a listed property without permission are done so at the owner’s discretion and own risk. If it is later deemed that these are more than repairs or permission was not granted enforcement action can be taken. So it is always better to double check. 

Internal aesthetic elements of the property like internal surface decoration and paint colour do not require permission. Externally you may repaint your property in the same colour, if you wish to change the colour you would need permission. We would generally advise that a pastel or neutral tone be used in a breathable paint format. 

This also applies to any work undertaken to the exterior fabric of a listed building, also including outbuildings, structures or walls within the boundary of which are considered ‘curtilage listed’.


If you are unsure if your property is listed, or want to check a listed properties description, this can be checked through Historic England’s website, it is best to search through postcode or street name and location first and then find your house number.


Listed building consent can be applied through the Thanet District Councils website – Planning information

The basic elements of an application are detailed below and are subject to additional information and amendments following its validation by the Planning Department. All listed building consent applications are also subject to authorisation through planning as well as building control who should also be contacted if required.    

You will also likely need to submit plans including the following, depending on what you are looking to carry out- 

  • Site Location Plan 
  • Existing elevations 
  • Proposed elevations 
  • Design Access and Heritage Statement 

The design and access statement will need to include a history of the property and its listing, the works you are proposing, where they are going and why they are required. These should then be weighed against any possible harm to the property. In principle as you are reinstating something which used to be present, and use that in your justification, should the materials and design be appropriate it should not be too concerning. 

More information can be found on the Thanet District Councils planning portal

Listed building consent applications typically take between 6 – 8 weeks on receipt of a valid application and all the information required to review the work proposed. This includes a public consultation period of 21 days. 


Frequently asked questions

You may decorate your listed property internally how you wish however if you wish to alter the colour externally from the existing colour i.e. walls and the window frames this would require a listed building consent application. 

We would generally advise that a pastel or neutral tone be used in a breathable paint format. It would also typically be preferable that the doors and windows are distinguished from the rest of the building in an appropriate colour scheme. 


In principle Thanet District Council does not support the use of UPVC upon listed properties due to its visual harm, its heavy and dense contemporary appearance, as well its compliance with more historic materials which can cause incompatibility with ventilation within the property. However listed building consents are considered on a case by case basis and you are within your right to justify the change of material to UPVC through an application. 


Listed buildings do not have the same permitted development rights as unlisted buildings. This means that planning permission may be required for certain works which would otherwise be classed as permitted development.


It is possible to add extensions to listed properties however you would need listed building consent, likely planning permission as well as being subject to building control. 


Like UPVC the use of double glazed windows are not often encouraged due to the possible risk of harm to the historic integrity of the property. Again, listed building consents are considered on a case by case basis and you are within your right to justify the change to double glazing should the harm to listed property be considered to be outweighed by the benefits. 

Some properties will already have UPVC and or double glazing present within them, unfortunately this can not set precedent for further likewise installations to other listed properties. 

Harm to listed buildings is often somewhat of a balancing act and will be taken into account on an individual basis, focusing on the age or originality of the windows, their existing material and form as well as what is being proposed in their place.

Aspects integral to the feasibility of the above are the following- 

  • Age of the windows, are they original? What is the current material?
  • Are they located on the front of the property or the rear? 
  • Have other aspects of improving the properties energy efficiency been considered such as mortar repairs, draft proofing and insulation. 

A good source of information on this matter is Historic England’s Guidance.


If you have bought a property and you believe at some point unauthorised work has taken place the existing owner is now liable for them. These can be authorised through a retrospective listed building consent application should they be deemed acceptable amendments to the property or if they are considered harmful you may be asked for them to be removed. 

If you are unsure of the appropriate steps moving forward email the conservation officer. 


This is very dependent on what is being constructed and to what proximity to the listed property. It is likely some kind of permission would be required, whether that is a listed building application or planning permission therefore it would be advised to speak to the conservation officer. Proposed structures to the front gardens or settings of listed buildings will very likely require permission. 


When undertaking work to a listed property the aim to implicate as little harm as possible to its significance. As such solar panels can be feasible should they not implicate its principle setting and appearance, historic fabric or significance. 


No you do not have to use a specific contractor to undertake work to a listed property however we do recommend that you use a builder with knowledge and experience working with listed properties. 

Unfortunately Thanet District Council can not recommend any specific companies, however if you look at the suggested links below the websites will give you guidance on what to look for.


In some instances it is possible to incorporate ensuites into listed properties. However, this is circumstantial and only if the layout of the rooms can accommodate appropriate proportion alterations within the space without disrupting intended floor plans. Also, additional information would need to be reviewed including pipework detailing. 

If you are unsure please discuss this further through the conservation officer or through pre application advice. 


There is no quantity of years that gives unauthorised works to a listed property immunity from enforcement action should it be deemed that it should be taken. Undertaking work to a listed building without the proper permissions is a criminal offence and if deemed bad enough large fines or prison sentences can be given. 

If you are unsure of the appropriate steps moving forward, contact the conservation officer. 


Unfortunately we typically do not undertake site visits unless a valid pre application or application has been received and requires a site visit to acquire further information.


If you see any unauthorised work taking place to listed properties without consent, you can double check using our website and the appropriate reference number, please alert our enforcement officer or department who can look into this further. Thanet District Council is likely to not be aware of the situation and we can only look into issues which we are directly made aware of. 

Our enforcement team can be reached on planning.enforcement@thanet.gov.uk


If your property has unfortunately been damaged or is likely to cause a health and safety risk it is advised that you let the council aware of the situation before acting. Building control are also likely to be made aware and steps can be undertaken to move forward with a retrospective application where and if required. 


A Locally Listed Building is a building, structure or feature which, while not listed by the Secretary of State, is deemed by the Thanet District Council to be an important part of the county’s heritage, due to its architectural, historic or archaeological significance. Thanet has varying locally listed buildings throughout the district, some lists are fully adopted, some are not and some are in the process of being reviewed. These properties can be within or outside the conservation area but will have a defining feature of significance to warrant such designation. 


Thanet is currently in the process of reviewing and adopting local lists district wide as and when officer time allows. 


Non-designated heritage assets are buildings, monuments, sites, places, areas or landscapes identified by plan-making bodies as having a degree of heritage significance meriting consideration in planning decisions but which do not meet the criteria for designated heritage assets.


Anyone can apply for a building to be considered for listing. Buildings are currently added to the Statutory List by Historic England with the approval of the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport.  Historic England typically requires the following information when considering a listing request:

  • A location plan showing, wherever possible, the position of any other listed buildings nearby.
  • Clear, up-to-date photographs of the main elevations of the building
  • Any information about the building (e.g. the date it was built)
  • Details of any specialised function (such as industrial use)
  • Historical associations
  • The name of the architect
  • How the building fits in with and enhances it location
  • Details of any interior feature of interest
  • The contact details of the owner or their agent who may be able to provide access to the building for inspection

The older and more intact a building is the greater likelihood it is to be listed.

You can make a request for a building to be listed to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport at any time, although priority will be given to those buildings which are under threat.

To apply for a building to be considered by Historic England for listed status, or to suggest amendments to existing listings you can visit to following website.

At Thanet we are actively seeking to protect our local heritage and listed local properties, therefore if you believe there is a building locally which you consider that should be listed please get in touch with more information or further discussion.


Buildings are listed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport as “the physical survival of our past valued for their own sake, as part of our cultural heritage and sense of national identity.  They are an irreplaceable record which contributes to our understanding of our present and past”. 

Historic properties are important assets in their own right as well as large contributors to the historical character and appearance of their environment and therefore it is vital that they are valued and protected through appropriate development. 


If you own, live in or are interested further on what works can be undertaken to listed properties and structures further information can be found on the following websites:

The above are also fantastic sources of information which include varying guides on how to approach different elements of handling historic properties. 

On our system we have records of historic applications which may be helpful and can be requested. 

If you would like to speak further to Thanet District Council questions can be directed to the Conservation Officer or Planning Department. 

This guidance has been drafted to give an overview of frequently asked questions regarding listed properties but can vary due to circumstances on an individual basis. If you would like to ask further questions please contact our conservation officer or seek more substantial formal advice through the pre application service. 


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