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Listed buildings

Newham has over 100 listed buildings. If you want to work on a listed building you will need our consent.

Picture of Three Mills a listed building in Newham

What is a listed building?

Listing is a way to protect buildings which are of special architectural or historic interest. Once a building is listed, special planning rules apply to it.
Find out more about listing and listed buildings on the Historic England website.

Working on a listed building

If you want to work on a listed building or change it in any way which changes its character, we need to agree to the work. This is called listed building consent.
We will not allow you to demolish a listed building, or allow changes which:
  • harm their special character 
  • affect their structural integrity, that is to say affect the strength or stability of the building. 
    When a building is listed the whole of it is protected, inside and out. Outbuildings and boundary walls are normally also protected by the listing.
Listed building consent is different from planning permission, but the application process is much the same. Remember that you may also need planning permission.
If you want to work on a listed building you must ask a qualified professional with experience of dealing with historic buildings to prepare your plans. If you get consent, you should also use an experienced builder with a good reputation to do the work.

Listed building consent

Work that we will need to agree includes:
  • changing windows and doors
  • painting over brickwork or removing surfaces outside
  • putting in dormer windows or rooflights
  • putting up aerials, satellite dishes or burglar alarms
  • changing roofing materials
  • moving or removing walls inside
  • making new doorways
  • removing or changing fireplaces, panelling or staircases.
Note that work not included in this list may also need consent. If you're not sure whether your work needs consent, talk to us before you start.
Repairs which match exactly may not need consent, but ask us for advice before you do the work. If you do repairs badly they can be harmful to a building.  
It is a crime to work on a listed building without consent. You could be fined or sent to prison. We can also order you to put the building back as it was before the work. Most work to listed buildings needs consent. If you are not sure, contact the duty planning officer before you start any work.

Applying for consent

You can apply for consent online, using the Planning Portal. Applying for consent is like applying for planning permission, but you will need to give more information about the building and how the work will affect it.

Listed buildings: Our policy

We want to protect listed buildings, their settings and features. You can find our policy on listed buildings in the Local Plan. You can also find guidance in the Government's National Planning Policy Framework.

Use of a listed building

We try to make sure that listed buildings are used in the way that was originally intended, or if that is not possible then in a way that causes least harm to the building. For many buildings this is possible, but not for all.

Giving listed building consent

For all listed buildings, we work closely with Historic England when we decide whether to give consent. For grade I or II* listed buildings, Historic England needs to agree to the work. We cannot give ourselves consent to work on our own listed buildings, so the Secretary of State decides on the application.

Buildings at risk

If you own a listed building, and you neglect it or leave it empty for a long time, 
we can make you repair the building to stop further decay. We will say what work we think you should do to preserve it.
Historic England can register neglected or empty listed buildings as 'buildings at risk'. Find out more about the Buildings at Risk Register on the Historic England website.
If you are a resident in Newham and you are concerned about a building which you think might be listed, contact us.

What the council can do

Urgent works notice

We can issue an urgent works notice for emergency repairs, for example work to keep a building wind and weather-proof and safe from collapse.

Repairs notice

A repairs notice is not just for urgent work, it may include work to preserve design details, but we cannot use it to restore lost features.

Work at the owner's cost and compulsory purchase

In extreme cases, we can do the work and make the owner pay for it, or we can buy the building at risk without the owner's agreement (compulsory purchase).

Locally listed buildings

There are many interesting buildings in Newham that do not meet the standard for listing but which add to the character of the borough or have local historical value. We have a local list for these buildings.
You can download more information on locally listed buildings (PDF), which includes planning policies, the criteria for local listing and examples of the types of building on the list.

Asset of community value

An asset of community value (ACV) is land or property of importance to a local community which has additional protection from development under the Localism Act 2011.
We keep a register of assets of community value. Voluntary and community organisations can nominate an asset to be included on this register.
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Contact us

  • Duty planning officer
    Monday to Friday
    9am to 12 noon

    020 3373 8300

    Email us