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Listed buildings

Photo of Rochester CastleThe list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest is a register of the nation's best historic buildings compiled by the government.

The buildings are classified into grades to show their relative importance:

  • Grade I - buildings of exceptional interest (around two per cent of all listed buildings)
  • Grade II* - particularly important and of more than special interest (around four per cent of all listed buildings)
  • Grade II - buildings of special interest, which warrant every effort being made to preserve them.

The council controls all work on listed buildings through the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. The listing of buildings recognises their special architectural or historic interest and is designed to protect buildings for future generations.

Even relatively minor works, such as painting, may affect the character of a listed building and may need listed building consent from the council. It is therefore advisable to contact the council before carrying out any work to the outside or inside of a listed building. The council can provide advice on what alterations are likely to be acceptable and technical advice on the best methods for repair or restoration.

Is my building listed?

A map showing the Listed Buildings in Medway is available through the Medway Map Service 2 (select the planning box on the left side of the page) and the National Heritage List for England, on the English Heritage website.

The legal penalties of carrying out work without first seeking listed building consent can be quite severe. If in doubt, please contact the council on 01634 331700 or planning.representations@medway.gov.uk

What part of the building is listed?

Irrespective of their grade, all listed buildings are listed in their entirety. There is no such thing as just a listed façade or interior but some parts of a listed building (interior as well as exterior) may be more important than others. The relative importance of different parts of the building will be taken into account when the council makes decisions on whether to grant listed building consent.

Any object or structure fixed to a listed building is treated as part of the building. Also, any object or structure placed within the boundary of the building before 1 July 1948 is covered by listed building status, even if it is not part of the building itself. Work on any of these items may require listed building consent.

Further information

Listed buildings in Medway - A guide for owners and occupiers (pdf 273KB) is available on the law and the council’s policy relating to listed buildings in Medway. To use this file you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this on your computer, use our advice page.