Buying a listed building in Brownhills - should you take the risk?

The prospect of owning a desirable listed building is an exciting one. The reality is, however, not for the faint-hearted. If you are intending to buy a listed building in Brownhills, here are the things to be aware of.

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Listed house red tiles West Midlands

First steps

The starting point is to look into what grading of listing the property is. The grade will help describe what your obligations will be.

Grade I

Grade I are buildings of exceptional interest. Approximately 3% of listed properties are Grade I.

Grade II*

Grade II* buildings are particularly important and of more than special interest. Approximately 6% of listed properties are Grade II*.

Grade II

Grade II are buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them. Approximately 91% of listed properties are Grade II.

What will my responsibilities be?

Listed building restrictions are put in place to preserve a property's historic or architectural interest. These building controls prevent alterations without consent (such as replacement of rainwater goods) to the listed elements of the property.

Typical examples of listed elements can range from bay windows to purlin ends.

Can I make alterations to a listed building

If you are buying a listed property, any internal or external changes to the property will need planning and listed building consent from Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council.

What do I do if the property has already been altered?

If a listed property in Brownhills has been modified by a previous owner, the necessary consents must be in place.

The obligation for the correct permissions being in place will be inherited by the new property owner. Failing to comply in obtaining the proper consents for alterations or extensions is a criminal offence.

What must the owner do to maintain the property?

Owners of listed buildings in Brownhills are obliged to keep the house in good condition.

The local council can take legal action if you do not look after the building, ending in compulsory purchase.

The repairs and upkeep will often need to be undertaken in a like for like manner, such as cordwood construction and cruck-framing.

Directory of listed properties in Brownhills

There are around 500,000 listed buildings in England and Wales - around 171 of which are in Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council.

Brownhills listed buildings and properties include:

  • Wyrley And Essington Canal Anglesey Branch Railway Aqueduct, Hammerwich, Brownhills, Walsall,Wyrley And Essington Canal, Walsall, Walsall, Staffordshire

A complete list can be found on the Historic England database

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

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