Buildings and Structures of Character

What is a locally listed building

A locally listed building is a building or other structure which is deemed to be of local architectural or historic interest and is included on the Local List drawn up by the Council. It is a local designation and completely separate from national listing which is undertaken by the government.

Why have a 'Local List'

Over the last few years Central Government has been putting growing emphasis on the need to promote 'local distinctiveness'. Local communities are increasingly being asked to highlight what they consider to be important within their familiar environment. Intensive development pressures have highlighted the need to maintain and protect our local natural and built environment. Whilst those buildings and structures which are of national importance are identified as Listed Buildings, we all know of those local buildings which help to define the areas where we live and work. These buildings make a contribution to the character and historical legacy of the areas in which they are located. Further, they contribute to the local scene or are valued for their local historical associations.

Will buildings on the 'Local List' receive any additional statutory protection?

The 'Local List' is a 'non-statutory' designation. Buildings on the list will not be subject to new or additional controls. The existing planning controls over changes of use, external alterations, extensions etc. will continue to apply and will remain unchanged. Where permission is required for works, the council will ensure that any proposal respects the building.

If no additional controls are involved what does the 'Local List' aim to achieve?

Much can be done to help protect the character of locally important buildings by raising their 'profile', without the need for extra controls. The 'Local list' initiative is aimed at:

  • ensuring that these buildings enjoy the recognition which they deserve
  • raising public awareness of the importance of these buildings to the local environment
  • encouraging owners to protect and maintain the character of such buildings
  • ensuring that planners, architects, builders, and others concerned with development proposals are aware of the need to give special attention to such buildings.

Do I need additional consents to carry out works to a locally listed building?

No, there are no additional planning controls; normal planning regulations apply. You may therefore need to apply for Planning Permission for some works. This can be discussed in more detail with the Councils ‘Duty Planner’.

What planning policies apply to locally listed buildings?

Saved policy GEN22 of the Arun District Local Plan (2003) applies to Locally Listed Buildings. The policy states:

POLICY GEN22 Buildings or Structures of Character 

Planning permission will not be granted for development resulting in the loss of existing buildings or structures of interest and importance which are attractive in their own right or which contribute to the character and appearance of an area. Alterations, extensions or other development which would adversely affect the appearance or setting of such buildings or structures will not be permitted.


In addition to Listed Buildings, the District Council places great importance on the retention of other buildings of character, which form part of its rich built heritage, although such buildings do not enjoy the full protection of statutory listing.


Throughout the District there are buildings which, while not Listed Buildings, are of good quality design and appearance; which are important features in their own right; and which may also contribute to the character and appearance of an area. They illustrate, and are reminders of, the historical development of an area and are worthy of retention.

The Council will produce a Local List of Buildings of Character. The Council's criteria for selection of buildings or structures of character are as follows:-

  1. Buildings of outstanding design, detailing, appearance or special interest because of the use of materials.
  2. Buildings which are extremely good examples of traditional or established style, or of unusual type.
  3. In special cases, buildings or structures which contribute towards the local townscape or have important historical associations.
  4. All buildings must be largely intact and not adversely affected by later extensions or alterations.
  5. Preferably, although not exclusively, they should make a positive contribution to their surroundings or the street scene.

Does this mean that I won’t be able to alter my property?

No. if you plan on undertaking works to your property that require planning permission, Policy GEN 22 applies. This requires any work to preserve the appearance and setting of the property.

What should I do if I believe that a property should be included to the list?

If you believe that a property should be included on the list, please contact the Conservation Officer.

What is the difference between Statutory and Local Lists?

Locally listed Buildings are recognised by the Council and are not graded. They are not protected by law unless they are in a conservation area.

In contrast, buildings on the statutory list are selected by the Secretary of State with the guidance of English Heritage. They are graded on their importance (Grade I, II* and II). They are protected by law and listed building consent should be sought before extending, altering or demolishing such a property.

Where can I find the list of buildings or structures that are included?

This list has been presented in a Buildings or Structures of Character Supplementary Planning Document.pdf [pdf] 211KB