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Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and Scheduled Monuments

What is a Listed Building?

A ‘Listed Building’ is one that has been added by the Secretary of State to the Statutory list of buildings of special architectural or historical interest. Its interest may be due to architectural design or detail, technical innovation, associations with nationally important events or people, or simply as a rare survival of a particular building type. Listed buildings include all types of built structures. The vast majority of county council owned listed buildings are bridges and milestones. There may also be structures such as railings, lamp standards, horse troughs etc that fall within the highway, and are the responsibility of the county council.

Listed buildings are graded according to their importance:

  • Grade I being of the highest importance,
  • then Grade II*
  • and then Grade II.

The great majority of listed buildings are Grade II.

Listed Buildings are listed in their entirety. All parts of the structure, including its interior and any fixtures or fittings, are covered by its listed status.


To check whether a building or structure is Listed, please contact: 
Historic Environment Team her@staffordshire.gov.uk

When is listed building consent required?

Listed building consent is required for any works, alteration or extension which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. It is also required for any work of demolition.

As a general rule, the only works that do not require consent are those of genuine ‘like-for-like’ repair. This includes all elements of the repair: materials, dimensions, colours, designs and detail.

‘Genuine Repair’ is that which can be demonstrated to be essential to the structural stability and longevity of the building. Replacing stonework that is worn but still structurally functional is therefore not a ‘genuine repair’.

‘Like-for-Like’ means just that. Wrought or cast iron railings, for example, should not be replaced with an approximate replica in mild steel, but selective repairs may be made of the same dimensions and material. Where historic sandstone masonry is replaced, it cannot be replaced with an ashlar block if the original was punch dressed.

Works that would require consent can also include: painting in a new colour, altering kerbs, adding railings, removing pavements and lowering or rebuilding parapets. It is important to note that substantial rebuilding may need consent, as this is something that could seriously affect the special interest of the building if it is insensitively carried out.

To check whether your scheme requires Listed Building Consent or not, please contact the relevant local Conservation Officer.

How is Listed Building Consent obtained?

Applications for listed building consent are made to the district or borough council planning authority.

The system is complex and many parties are consulted. It is therefore advisable to seek pre-application advice at the earliest possible date, and once an application has been submitted, to allow three months for a decision to be received.

What if works are carried out without listed building consent?

It is a criminal offence to carry out any work or alteration or extension to a listed building that would affect its character as a building of special historic or architectural interest without consent.

Such unauthorised works, including the failure to observe the conditions of a listed building consent, could result in either criminal prosecution or enforcement proceedings by the relevant local planning authority. This can include being made to return the structure to the same state as it was before the unauthorised works.

Conservation areas

What is a conservation area?

Conservation areas are designated by the local planning authority, and are areas of ‘special historic interest, the character of which it is desirable to protect or enhance.‘

There are 157 conservation areas in Staffordshire. As well as buildings and bridges, other items of street furniture owned or maintained by the county may fall within conservation areas, as may surfaces of historic interest such as granite setts, kerbs, stone-flagged pavements or brick-paviour alleys. The removal or alteration of any of these items could affect the character or appearance of the conservation area.

Conservation Areas are consistently being re-evaluated, so the HER should always be consulted for the most up-to-date records, along with the local Conservation Officer.

What consents are required for works within conservation areas?

Works within conservation areas, including demolition, are controlled via the usual system of planning permission, but with the character and appearance of the conservation area being a material consideration in their assessment.

Works of maintenance and repair do not require formal consents, but should nevertheless be carried out according to principles of good conservation practice to fulfil the county’s commitment to the protection of the historic environment.

Discussing the proposals with the district and borough Conservation Officers at the earliest possible opportunity is advised. Contact details for the borough and district Conservation Officers can be found below: 

District and borough conservation officer contacts


East Staffordshire



Peak Park


Staffordshire Moorlands

South Staffordshire



Trees in conservation areas

Where works are likely to impact upon trees in a conservation area the district or borough council will require a minimum of 6 weeks notification of details. At this point, the district or borough councils may place a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on the trees affected, therefore, early advice should be sought from the district or borough council. Failure to do so may delay schemes. Advice on trees can be found on the trees webpage.

Scheduled monuments

What is a scheduled monument?

A scheduled monument is defined as a monument included by the Secretary of State in the schedule of monuments which he or she is required to compile under Section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 (as amended). Any monument or site of national importance may be included. The definition of a ‘monument’ is broad, including buildings and structures below or above ground, and any site comprising the remains of any such building or structure.

To check whether your scheme affects a Scheduled Monument, please contact Historic Environnment Team her@staffordshire.gov.uk

What is covered by the scheduling?

Everything contained within the boundary of the scheduled monument, as defined by maps drawn up for the schedule. This includes everything both above and below ground, unless specifically excluded in the schedule entry.

What does this mean in practice?

The purpose of scheduling is to ensure the protection of the archaeological value of the structure or site, and that works are carried out in accordance with good conservation and archaeological practice. Scheduled monument consent is required for virtually all works to the monument, and applications are submitted to and decided by the Secretary of State with advice from Historic England.

When is scheduled monument consent required?

Scheduled monument consent is required for virtually all works to a scheduled monument.

This includes works to structures above ground and works that involve any ground disturbance within the boundary of the scheduled monument. For built structures this includes genuine and like-for-like repairs; even repointing may require consent.

Some structures have dual status, i.e. they are both scheduled monuments and listed buildings. In this situation, its status as a scheduled monument always takes precedence.

How is scheduled monument consent obtained?

Applications for scheduled monument consent are made direct to the Secretary of State, but in practice it is Historic England that deals with the application. Any proposal for works to a scheduled monument should always be discussed at an early pre-application stage with the Historic England Inspector of Ancient Monuments for the county. Initial advice should be sought from the Historic Environnment Team her@staffordshire.gov.uk

Further information and application forms

Further information on scheduled monument consent and consent application forms are available on Historic England's website.

Summary of consents required for works within the historic environment: 

Listed buildings

WorksConsent required
Repair None, provided work is genuine and like-for-like.
Alteration Listed building consent. May require planning permission.
Re-building Listed building consent usually required.

Conservation areas

WorksConsent required
Repair None.
Demolition Planning permission.
Alteration May require planning permission.
Re-building or replacement Planning permission.

Scheduled monument

WorksConsent required
Repair Scheduled monument consent.
Demolition Scheduled monument consent.
Alteration Scheduled monument consent.

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