Wealden District Council

Listed Buildings

The Council receives a large number of queries from owners or prospective owners of Listed Buildings located within Wealden District, regarding their responsibilities in respect of protected buildings and whether there are any particular requirements arising from the legislation affecting them.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions (pdf) document for the answers to common queries relating to Listed Buildings.

Please note, if the listed building is located within the South Downs National Park, all queries should be addressed to the National Park (external link) as Planning Authority.

What is a Listed Building?

Listed Buildings are buildings which have been identified as being of special architectural or historic interest. Anyone can suggest a building to English Heritage for listing. English Heritage makes recommendations, based on specific criteria, to the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, who makes the final decision on whether to list.

Why are they listed?

The buildings have been identified as being of importance to the national heritage and listing gives them legal protection against demolition or alterations which might adversely affect their character and significance.

Listing recognises a building's special architectural and historic interest, and is a material consideration of the planning system. All buildings constructed before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most of those built between 1700 and 1840.

Very few buildings have been listed from the period after 1945 and a building has normally to be over 30 years old to be eligible for listing.

What does the grading refer to?

This relates to the quality and relative interest of the building

Grade I: This is the highest grading and relates to the top 4% of buildings of exceptional quality and interest, such as country houses and churches.
Grade II*: This category accommodates Grade II buildings with unusual features of interest such as a fine staircase.
Grade II: The vast majority of listed buildings fall into this class, ranging from a medieval house to a 1930s telephone kiosk.

There are approximately 2,200 listed buildings within Wealden, including that part of the District falling within the South Downs National Park.  That part of English Heritage that provides technical advice on protecting heritage, including listed buildings, becomes Historic England on 1st April 2015. After that date, to find out the Grading of any particular building, you will be able to look at the Historic England Online Register, available at Historic England (external website) alternatively contact customers@historicengland.org.uk (0370 333 0607) or look at Images of England (external link)   Further advice about listed buildings may also be found on the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) (external link) website.

What type of work requires consent?

It is a common misconception that only the outside of a building is actually listed. Please be aware that the majority of works to any listed building, including internal alterations, are likely to require Listed Building Consent. If you have any doubts as to whether or not an application may be necessary, please contact the Council for advice, using either the Listed Building Enquiry form below, or via the Pre-Application Surgery route.

Listed Building Enquiry Form (pdf)

This form is to be used for general enquiries by private owners of Listed Buildings or planning agents acting on their behalf, who wish to seek advice on small scale repairs or works to their listed property, and whether Listed Building Consent may be required.  The response will be based on the level of detail supplied and will be provided on an entirely without prejudice basis to the submission of any future formal application or any future action by the Local Planning Authority in relation to that particular site.  If you require formal confirmation that Listed Building Consent will not be required, please submit an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed works to a Listed Building (pdf).

Please Note - No further comments or advice will be provided via this facility after the initial response.  If further advice is required on this property in relation to the proposed works, or it is felt that the enquiry is not appropriate for this service, you will be requested to use the Pre-Application Surgery route for which a fee is applicable.  A written response to informal enquiries relating to Listed Buildings will only be provided on submission of this form, and not via any other form of correspondence.

Wealden Design Guide

If you are considering submitting an application to extend or alter a listed building, you are advised to look at the Wealden Design Guide - Chapter 12 (pdf), a Supplementary Planning Document, the purpose of which is to encourage a higher standard of design for development within the District. This chapter provides specific advice to help you through the process of submitting applications and to provide help in ensuring proposals are sympathetic to these special buildings.

Local Listing

Not all buildings will meet the criteria to be statutorily listed, but may be considered as local heritage assets. Local Heritage Lists can help to recognise local distinctiveness and character to ensure these values are taken into account when changes affecting the historic environment are proposed.

Wealden District Council does not currently have a list of local heritage assets. The timescales in relation to compiling a Local List are linked with the Local Plan process.  Consultation on whether Wealden should have a local list and potential objective criteria for Local Listing, to sit alongside new local plan policy, will be formulated as part of a consultation process with local communities, in line with English Heritage Good Practice, and will take place as part of the new Local Plan.