Lewisham has around 540 nationally-listed buildings, most of which are Grade II.
35 listed buildings in the borough are Grade II* and two are Grade I (Boone's Chapel in Lee High Road and St Paul's Church in Deptford). The grades reflect their importance in nationwide terms although they all enjoy the same level of protection.
Listed building consent is required to make alterations to any part of the building, both inside and outside and includes works to historic outbuildings and walls. This enables us to ensure that parts of the building that contribute to its special interest are preserved.
Important features vary according to each building, but can include plasterwork, timber doors and windows, fireplaces and even some later features that make up the building’s history.
If you are considering carrying out works to your listed building, please contact us to find out whether consent is required. Unauthorised and unsuitable alterations to a listed building are a criminal offence.
Maintenance and repair, if carried out sympathetically and in appropriate materials however, will not require consent.
Frequently asked questions
How can I find out if my house is listed?
The planning service will be able to tell you if your house is listed.
Why is my house listed?
Buildings are now listed directly by English Heritage for their special historical or architectural interest. Listed buildings are physical survivals of the past which should be valued and protected for their unique special interest.
They are not replaceable and once demolished or insensitively altered their special interest and their contribution to the historic environment is gone forever.
We therefore have a duty to preserve listed buildings, their features of special interest and their settings for future generations. For further information on the criteria used for listing, see the English Heritage website.
Do I need consent to make alterations to a listed building?
Listed building consent is required to make any alterations to a listed building which affect its special interest. This covers the interiors (including fixtures and fittings) and exteriors of the building as well as boundary walls and other buildings within the 'curtilage' (usually the boundaries) of the listed building unless they were built after 1 July 1948.
What is English Heritage’s role?
English Heritage is the government’s advisor on the historic environment and has responsibility for listing buildings as well as owning and opening buildings to the public.
When you make an application for listed building consent, English Heritage may be notified by the local authority, but it is the local authority that has responsibility for granting listed building consent and not English Heritage.
English Heritage publishes many useful books and leaflets on conservation matters and these are available from them. Visit their website for further details.
Where can I get more information about my listed building?
The National Monuments Record holds details of all listed buildings as well as wide ranging historical information. The Images of England website has photos of all buildings listed before 2001.
The Local Studies and Archives Centre based in Lewisham Library also has local historical information such as photographs, maps and records, but also books and advice on researching the history of your house.
Where can I get more information on looking after my listed building?
A number of books are listed on the useful publications page.
When you make a planning application, we will take into consideration the advice in Planning Policy Guidance Note 15: Planning and the Historic Environment which contains a useful guide to alterations in appendix B.
How do I make a listed building consent application?
Making an application for listed building consent is similar to making a planning application although it is free of charge.
Please contact us for a listed building consent application form, and allow eight weeks for the decision. You are welcome to discuss your proposals and plans that will be needed with the conservation officer before making your application.
For all but the smallest of alterations, you are strongly advised to employ a qualified conservation architect who will understand the requirements of your building and be able to devise sensitive and appropriate works.
Are there any grants available to help with works to listed buildings?
We do not give grants specifically for the conservation of residential houses. However the housing grants department has a range of grants available.
Few grants are available to private owners for domestic restoration purposes. There are, however, many grants available to charities for restoration projects, outlined on the Funds for Historic Buildings website.
How can I get a building listed?
The Heritage Protection team at English Heritage are responsible for considering buildings for listing. You should therefore address your request to them giving its address, photos and details of why you think the building should be listed.
Buildings are only listed for their special architectural or historic interest and not for any other reasons. For further information on the criteria used for listing, see the English Heritage website.
You can also get information on getting a building listed for the relevant amenity society, such as the Georgian Group, Victorian Society, Twentieth Century Society or Save Britain’s Heritage who may be also be able to support you in your request.