Fuller Long have obtained planning permission on behalf of a client for retrospective Listed Building Consent for internal and external works to a Grade II listed building in the Bayswater Conservation area. As part of the application submission, Fuller Long prepared a Heritage Statement to justify the works undertaken.
The property was purchased by applicants and shortly after, a range of minor alterations, upgrading and general refurbishments commenced. However, these works were undertaken without Listed Building Consent. Fuller Long argued that these works were conducted on the basis that the interior of the building had been heavily altered and that the flat possessed no features of architectural interest which would be affected by the proposals.
The property itself was located at basement level within a 5 storey terrace, forming a part of a terrace of houses which were all Grade II Listed in the 70s. Fuller Long demonstrated that the buildings were primarily listed for their contribution as a whole to the townscape character of the area as opposed to the interior of the building or any significant internal features. The property itself was located in the Bayswater Conservation Area, a large conservation area first designated in 1967 and then extended in 1978, 1990 and 2002.
Fuller Long showed that prior to the purchase of the property, the basement accommodation had been substantially reconfigured. These various alterations had impacted on the size and shape of the room and altered its original spatial quality. Furthermore, the building retained no features of architectural or historic interest within the basement flat. Thus, Fuller Long were able to demonstrate that the flat no longer formed part of the predictable series of historic spaces within the listed building. Consequently the significance and special architectural and historic interest of the internal spaces at basement level was limited.
The existing ceiling was replaced as part of the various alterations to the property. However, Fuller Long noted that this consisted of modern plasterboard and consequently no historic fabric had been lost as a result of this intervention. Fuller Long argued that the ceiling was merely a contemporary addition to the building. Moreover, the works were fully reversible and the feature could be removed at any point in the future, with no harm to the listed building. Fuller Long also noted that a similar intervention had been granted listed building consent in the area. These works were directly comparable to the ceiling that had been installed at the aforementioned property, being located in the same room at basement level and within a Grade II listed building of a similar age and character.
External works to the property included replacement of the entrance door to the flat within the basement lightwell, installation of paving within the front and rear lightwells, installation of two sets of replacement French doors and the installation of two wall lights. Further alterations to the bathroom and kitchen fixtures were argued by Fuller Long to have replaced the same spaces as they previously occupied. In this sense Fuller Long showed, to the satisfaction of the Council, that the modifications had no impact upon the special interest of the listed building. In doing so, Fuller Long were successful in gaining retrospective Listed Building Consent for the client.
It is advised that buyers seek heritage advice before conducting work on a Listed Building. If works are conducted without Listed Building Consent, homeowners could suffer the costs of rectifying these alterations. However, this case is a prime exemplar of how, with the right consultants, retrospective Listed Building Consent can work in favour of alterations to Listed Buildings. Fuller Long have a wealth of experience with Listed Buildings and Listed Building consent. To discuss issues regarding Listed Building Consent with one of our experienced team of Heritage consultants, please call us on 0808 164 1288 for a no obligation conversation or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org