Buying a listed building in Ipswich - what are the risks?

Listed buildings can be very desirable to own. However, ownership comes with a responsibility that can affect your plans for how you use your home.

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Listed house front door Ipswich

Where do I start?

Before you do anything else, find out what designation of listing the property you intend to buy is, this will set out what you can and cannot do.

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

What can and can't I do?

The regulations governing listed buildings exist to preserve the architectural or historic value of the property. These controls are in place to stop unlawful modifications (such as a basement excavation) to the listed fabric of the building.

Typical examples of what specifically might be listed include anything from glazing to fireplaces.

Making alterations to a listed building in Ipswich

Building regulations and listed building consent from Ipswich Borough Council for any alterations or modifications is required when purchasing a home with listed building status.

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

The necessary consents must exist if a listed property in Ipswich has previously been altered.

The obligation for the correct permissions being in place will be transferred to the new owner of the property. Failing to secure listed building consent for alterations is illegal.

What obligations will the owner have?

Owners of listed buildings in Ipswich must keep the home well-maintained.

If you do not do so and allow it fall into disrepair, the local authority can take legal action, ending in compulsory purchase if you refuse to comply.

Repairs and upkeep often must be performed in a like for like manner, for example box-framing or rammed earth construction.

Find listed buildings in Ipswich

There are around half a million listed buildings across the country, 468 of which are in Ipswich Borough Council.

Ipswich listed buildings and properties include:

  • The Margaret Catchpole Public House, Cliff Lane, Ipswich, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • The Golden Hind Hotel, Nacton Road, Ipswich, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • St Mary Le Tower Vicarage, 8 Fonnereau Road, Ipswich, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • 16 Fonnereau Road, Ipswich, Ipswich, Suffolk
  • Sunnyside, 20 Fonnereau Road, Ipswich, Ipswich, Suffolk

A full 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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