Buying a listed building in Norwich - key things to know

Listed buildings can be a highly-desirable proposition. Features such as Tudor wood frames and brick buttresses ooze character and charm.

However, owning a listed building means you are a caretaker of a piece of history and means that you will have specific obligations that can affect how you use your house.

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Listed house front door Norwich

Where do I start?

The starting point is to check out what designation of listing the building is, as this will set out what the restrictions are.

Grade I

Grade I are buildings of exceptional interest

Grade II*

Grade II* buildings are particularly important and of more than special interest.

Grade II

Grade II are buildings that are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.

What can and can't I do?

Listed building restrictions are in place to preserve a property's architectural or historic value. These restrictions prevent alterations that do not have the necessary consent (e.g. adding rooflights) to the listed fabric of the building.

Typical examples of what may be listed could include anything from doors to chimneys.

I want to make alterations

If you intend to buy a listed building, any internal or external changes to the building must have planning permission and listed building consent from Norwich City Council.

What if modifications have already been made?

The required consents must be in place if the property has already undergone alterations.

Responsibility for ensuring the appropriate consents are in place will be transferred to the new owner. Owning a listed property without the proper consents for alterations is an offence.

What obligations must the owner fulfil?

Owners of listed buildings in Norwich are required to ensure the house remains in good condition

Should you fail to do so and allow it fall into disrepair, the local council may take legal action, resulting in a compulsory purchase of the property if you fail to comply.

Appropriate techniques and materials, for example porthole frames, often must be used when performing repair work.

Find listed properties in Norwich

There exist around 500,000 listed properties across the country, and around 1,070 of which are in Norwich City Council.

Norwich listed buildings include:

  • Church Of St Theobald, Great Hautbois Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR12 7JW, Coltishall, Broadland, Norfolk
  • 13 Red Lion Street, Norwich, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Castle Moat Entrance Lodges, Including Cast Iron Gates And Railings, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Royal Arcade, Back Of The Inns, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Barclays Bank And Attached Area Railings, Bank Plain, Norwich, Norfolk

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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