Listing is a short-hand term used to describe one of a number of legal procedures which help to protect the best of our architectural heritage.
When buildings are listed they are placed on statutory lists of buildings of 'special architectural or historic interest' compiled by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, on advice from Historic England.
The Main Criteria Used to Select Listed Buildings
- Architectural interest: all buildings which are nationally important for the interest of their architectural design, decoration and craftsmanship; also important examples of particular building types and techniques, and significant plan forms
- Historic interest: this includes buildings which illustrate important aspects of the nation's social, economic, cultural or military history
- Close historical association with nationally important buildings or events
- Group value, especially where buildings comprise an important architectural or historic unity or are a fine example of planning (such as squares, terraces and model villages)
Listed buildings are graded to show their relative importance:
- Grade I buildings are those of exceptional interest
- Grade II* are particularly important buildings of more than special interest
- Grade II are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them
Historic England is responsible for the administration of the listing system. Further information is available on their website, including an application form to nominate a heritage asset (including Listed Buildings)
Listed Buildings in Dartford
There are over 200 listed buildings in the Borough, of which 10 are Grade II* and 7 are Grade I. Listed buildings are a key element of the Borough's environmental heritage and character. The Council has a responsibility to protect them from unsympathetic alterations and from unsubstantiated proposals for demolition.
Listed building consent is normally required for the demolition, in whole or in part, and for any works of alteration or extension which would affect the character of a listed building.
Proposals for the alteration, extension or minor demolition of a listed building will not be permitted unless they would preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the building and its setting and do not involve the loss of features or detailing of architectural or historic interest.
Total or Substantial Demolition of a Listed Building
Demolition of a listed building is seldom justified. Proposals for demolition should establish that every effort has been made either to continue the current use or to find a suitable alternative use. Evidence should be provided that the building has been offered for sale on the open market for a period of not less than 12 months.
Where offers have been made and not accepted, evidence should be provided as to why they are not acceptable. Consent to demolition will not be given because redevelopment is economically more attractive to the developer than repair.
Change of Use of a Listed Building
In assessing proposals for a change of use of a listed building, a balance will be sought between the economic viability of a particular use and any consequential physical changes which may affect the special architectural and historic interest of the building in question.
In order to help secure the re-use and refurbishment of a listed building, the Council accepts that there will need to be some flexibility where new uses will help secure a building's survival.
Development Affecting the Setting of a Listed Building
Proposals for development will not be permitted if they would cause harm to the setting of a listed building.