Is it risky to buy a listed building in Stockport?

The dream of owning a listed property is an enticing one. Many pitfalls await the unwary however. If you are intending to buy a listed building in Stockport - here’s what you need to be aware of.

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Listed house front door Dtockport

Where do I start?

The starting point is to find out what grading of listed building the home is. This will help define what you will need to preserve and maintain.

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 are the restrictions?

The listing (which may cover the whole property) includes restrictions designed to preserve a property's architectural or historic interest. These restrictions prevent unpermitted alterations (for example the addition of a boiler flue) to the home.

Examples of what specifically might be listed can range from windows to gable-ended wings.

Alterations to a listed building in Stockport

If you intend to buy a listed building, any modifications or alterations to the building will need to have planning permission and listed building consent from Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.

What if the seller has made alterations already?

If a listed building in Stockport has been altered by the seller, the appropriate consents must be in place.

The responsibility for making sure all consents have been granted will be passed to the new property owner. Failing to secure listed building consent for modifications is a criminal offence.

Will there be any obligations on the new owner?

First among the obligations of listed building owners is a requirement to maintain the home.

If you do not and permit it to decay, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council may take formal steps, ending in compulsory purchase if you fail to comply.

Any repairs often must be carried out in a like for like manner, such as ornamental plasterwork.

Directory of listed properties in Stockport

Approximately half a million listed buildings exist in England and Wales, 399 of which are in Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council.

Stockport listed buildings include:

  • Plaza Cinema, Mersey Square, Stockport, Stockport
  • Harrytown Hall, Harrytown, Werneth, Romiley, Stockport
  • Hatherlow House, Hatherlow, Romiley, Stockport
  • Bredbury House, 85 Higher Bents Lane, Bredbury, Romiley, Stockport

A 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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