Listed buildings

A listed building is a building of special architectural or historic interest that has been identified and included on a government list of protected buildings.

Listed buildings in Arun

There are 971 listed buildings in Arun. You can find our listed buildings on Historic England or on our interactive map.

A listed building will have one of three grades:

  • Grade I buildings are of outstanding architectural or historic interest and are of national importance - we have 24 in our area
  • Grade II* is given to buildings that have some extra merit such as an outstanding interior - we have 24
  • Grade II listed buildings are of special interest and the majority fall into this group - we have 923 of these

Making changes to listed buildings

You cannot do any internal or external building work to a listed building without getting approval first. This is called listed building consent.

There is a common misconception that the listing covers only the outside of a building. There is no such thing as a partially listed building. The whole structure is covered, inside and out, from the basement to the chimney pots. Any land around the building is also covered, this is called the ‘curtilage’.  

Altering listed buildings is a specialist task and you should ask for professional advice at every stage. The cost of employing an architect or surveyor may well be offset by avoiding unnecessary work. Listed buildings are generally valuable property and poorly thought-through alterations are likely to devalue them. 

Informal advice

If you’re thinking of making some changes to a listed building, you can contact our conservation officer for some informal advice.

Please include:

  • the address and grade of the property
  • a description of the works you’d like comment on
  • annotated plans and elevation drawings - detailed sketches are fine
  • photographs of the part of the building affected
  • any additional reports or information you have


Our conservation officer only spends half the week on conservation matters, so please be patient when waiting for a reply.

Apply for listed building consent

Listed building consent is needed for any building work, inside or out, which may affect the character of a listed building.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • replacing windows and doors
  • changes to roofing
  • painting the outside of the building including doors and window frames
  • changing or adding new internal walls and doors
  • removing internal features like fireplaces and cornices
  • adding aerials or alarms to the outside of the building

Some changes will need both listed building consent and planning permission

It is illegal to damage or carry out unauthorised work on a listed building. You could face an unlimited fine or two years in prison.

Apply for listed building consent

It normally takes about 8 weeks for consent to be granted on a Grade II listed building. Grade I or Grade II* may take a little longer.

Further information and advice

It is important to get expert advice when considering changes and repairs to listed buildings. You'll need to consider talking to a surveyor or architect who specialises in historical buildings about your plans. The following organisations can provide further information:

The Georgian Group

Heritage Gateway

Institute of Historic Building Conservation

Royal Institute of British Architects

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

The Victorian Society