Renovating a listed building in the UK is possible. However, before any renovation work – large or small – is carried out, a listed building consent is needed as mandated by the Planning Act 1990. This consent is given by the local planning authority and even something as small as painting requires a listed building consent. If consent is not given and the renovation is completed, it can attract a prison sentence of up to 12 months, an unlimited fine, or both. Getting the listed building consent is about an eight-week long process, which can extend if there are issues.
When it comes to renovating listed buildings, choosing the right contractor for the work is crucial. Furthermore, the renovation can be done in two ways. One is renovating it altogether to give it a complete different look; second is to keep the existing design and extend the life of the building. It all depends on the permission that the local planning authority gives and how the local conservation officer views it. It has been observed that local authorities are quite conducive to giving permission to a contemporary approach, as it is easier to maintain the interpretation as well as the integrity of the original structure. However, the local conservation officer may have a different opinion which could require patience, negotiation skills and perseverance to convince the officer to allow a contemporary approach.
As local planning and conservation teams are already under tremendous pressure, it helps to have a qualified architect onboard to help speed up the consent process. Make sure you select an architect who is experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to renovating listed buildings. Once the architect is selected, it also is necessary to choose the right contractor to ensure that the integrity of the listed building is preserved.
There should be a plan in place that highlights how the renovation will be done and the timelines for each phase of the renovation. It may require surveys, which the architect should have completed by qualified surveyors. When the contractors are undertaking their work, they should also be supervised to ensure they are using the right materials in the proper manner.
We, at Abbey Roofing Contractors, have over 25 years of experience in renovating and repairing listed buildings. We have handled major projects, such as Oxford University, and have worked on behalf of The National Trust. We also have handled renovation and repairs of listed and historical buildings belonging to private owners, and these include churches, hotels, privately-owned estates and meeting places. If you are looking to repair or re-roof a historical building in Oxford, Cheltenham or the Cotswolds, contact us today. Our experience and skills in repairing and renovating roofs of listed and historical buildings is unsurpassable.