A listed building is one that has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. In England. the statutory body which maintains the list is Historic England .
There are three types of listed status for buildings in England:
- Grade I: buildings of exceptional interest.
- Grade II*: particularly important buildings of more than special interest.
- Grade II: buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them
A listed building may not be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from the local planning authority (in our case Wirral Borough Council), which typically consults the relevant central government agency, particularly for significant alterations to the more notable listed buildings. Exemption from secular listed building control is provided for some buildings in current use for worship, but only in cases where the relevant religious organisation operates its own equivalent permissions procedure. Owners of listed buildings are, in some circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain them and can face criminal prosecution if they fail to do so or if they perform unauthorised alterations.
Carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence and owners can be prosecuted. A planning authority can also insist that all work undertaken without consent be reversed at the owner’s expense.