Guide to Listed Buildings
Why is a building listed?
Buildings are listed for their special architectural or historical interest. Historic buildings are a finite asset acting as a powerful reminder of the history of the area. Within Reading there are 880 listed addresses. 27 of these are listed Grade I and Grade II*.
Listing aims to ensure that the architectural and historic interest of a building are preserved within present day uses.
A building may be listed because of age, rarity, architectural merit or the method of construction.
Which buildings are listed?
The older a building, the more likely it is to be listed. Any building built before 1700 in close to original form will be listed, as will most built between 1700 and 1840. After this period the criteria become tighter with the age of a building. For example post 1945 buildings will have to be exceptional to be listed. Listing also includes structures such as milestones, monuments, telephone boxes and village pumps.
Buildings are graded to show their relative architectural or historic interest:
Buildings of exceptional interest
Particularly important buildings of more than special interest
Nationally important and of special interest
Over 97% of listed buildings within Reading are Grade II
What does listing cover?
The whole of a listed building is protected, both inside and out, this includes any modern extensions which are attached to the building. Internal features such as staircases and fireplaces are protected as well as all features that contribute to the building’s character.
Any free standing building or structure within the curtilage of the property, which was built before 1st July 1948 is also part of the listed building. This can include boundary walls, outbuildings, gardens ornaments etc.
Listed Building Consent
Any work to demolish, alter, extend or in any other way affect the building requires Listed Building Consent from Reading Borough Council. Works which affect the character are likely to include: alterations to structural fabric of a building such as roofs, floors, walls, stairs and fireplaces and modifications of windows, doors and mouldings. The procedure is similar to obtaining planning permission. Details can be obtained from Reading Borough Council Planning Department.
An application for Planning Permission is often necessary alongside an application for listed building consent. For clarification whether planning Permission is also required please contact Reading Borough Council Planning Department.
Any person wishing to redevelop a site on which a listed building stands will need both Listed Building Consent for the demolition and Planning Permission for the new building.
Repairs and Maintenance
There is a very fine line between the repair and maintenance of a listed building and alterations that would require Listed Building Consent. The loss of original materials and features during the maintenance of a listed building can lead to a loss of architectural and historical value of the building. Any removal of original materials and the replacement with modern alternatives is likely to require Listed Building Consent. Consolidation and repair is more appropriate than the wholesale replacement of materials and features. For advice please contact Planning Section.
English Heritage offer a number of grant schemes. However, demand for the sources is high with grants usually restricted to Grade I and Grade II* buildings.
Do you have to pay VAT?
Certain alterations for which Listed Building Consent has been obtained are zero rated for VAT. Further information can be obtained from your local HM Customs and Excise Office.
Can buildings be added and removed from the list?
It is English Heritage who recommend buildings for inclusion on the statutory lists of buildings of ’Special Architectural or Historic Interest’ compiled by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. However it is possible that some buildings are overlooked and therefore buildings will be considered to be added or removed from the list. In the first instance any individual or group as well as Reading Borough Council itself can make a case to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s ’Listing Branch’ for a building to be added to the list. De-listing will occur when new evidence is produced to show that a building is no longer worthy of listing.
For advice relating to Planning and Listed Buildings contact:
Planning and Transport, Environment Directorate,
Reading Borough Council, Civic Centre,
Reading RG1 7TD
Tel: 0800 626540
Other useful Contacts and further information
1 Waterhouse Square
138 - 142 Holborn
London EC1N 2ST
Telephone: 020 7973 3000
Ancient Monuments Society
St. Anne’s Vestry Hall
2 Church Entry
London EC4V 5HB
Telephone: 020 7236 3934
1 Priory Gardens,
LONDON W4 1TT
Telephone 020 8994 1019
6 Fitzroy Square
London W1P 6DX
Tel: 087 1750 2936
Fax: 087 1750 2937
|The Twentieth Century Society|
70 Cowcross Street
London EC1M 6EJ
Tel: 020 7250 3857
|Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings|
37 Spital Square
London E1 6DY
Tel: 020 7377 1644
|Department for Culture, Media and Sport |
2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH
Tel: 020 7211 6200
Reading Borough Council does not necessarily endorse or recommend any of the links or services below. Please note: when you follow these links you will leave this site.
|ancientmonumentssociety.org.uk||Ancient Monuments Society: Body concerned with ancient monuments and historic buildings
|culture.gov.uk||Department for Culture, Media and Sport: Government department responsible for historic buildings
|english-heritage.org.uk||English Heritage: English Heritage website
|list.english-heritage.org.uk||English Heritage (The National Heritage List): A searchable database of nationally designated heritage assets.
|georgiangroup.org.uk||Georgian Group: Body concerned with Georgian buildings
|heritagegateway.org.uk||Heritage Gateway: Details of the List of Buildings
|spab.org.uk||Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings: Body concerned with protection of old buildings
|c20society.org.uk||Twentieth Century Society: Body concerned with architecture and design after 1914
|victoriansociety.org.uk||Victorian Society: Body concerned with Victorian and Edwardian buildings
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