Is Consent Required to Change the External Colour of a Listed Building?


There are two scenarios where listed building consent is required:

  • The total demolition of a listed building; and
  • Alterations or extensions that would affect the listed building’s character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

That being said, not all works, or alterations carried out to a listed building require this specific form of consent. In most cases, listed building consent is only required if the works carried out affect the character of a property as a building of special interest.

It is however important to note that any application made for any proposed works, will be a matter of individual judgement based on those particular circumstances, and as a result there is scope for differences of opinion between the local planning authority (LPA) and that of the listed building owner.

External redecoration to a property not only improves its appearance but also protects it from the elements, while interior redecoration offers the opportunity to take advantage of the original features and characteristics within an historic home.

When the matter involves painting an unpainted listed building, it is likely to affect the character of the property and will therefore require listed building consent. In 1984, an owner of a listed stone building painted the Property red and was subsequently prosecuted in the magistrates’ court and ordered to remove the paint from the building.

While repainting a listed building in the same colour might not require listed building consent, problems could arise where a Proprietor wishes to repaint a listed building with existing paintwork, a different colour. In some cases, listed building consent could be required, particularly when the change in paintwork is very noticeable. However, it will all depend on the particular facts and circumstances.

If you own a listed building and wish to repaint or carry out any other form of work, you may find the following of interest:

For further advice on legal matters involving listed buildings and consent, please contact Frank Smith & Co Solicitors on 01242 801748.

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