Protection & planning

Local listing

Chris Costelloe By Chris Costelloe Published 11 February, 2013

Chris Costelloe is Director of the Victorian Society.

Local listing is a concept that is designed to ensure that the historic and architectural interest of buildings that are of local importance but do not meet the criteria for being nationally listed is taken account of during the planning process.

Who is responsible for local listing?

In England and Wales, local authorities are responsible for drawing up local lists of buildings that they consider to be of local importance.  There is no obligation on councils to have such lists, or to update them regularly when they have them.  It is thought that around half of councils have local lists.

What makes a building locally-listable? 

Locally-listable buildings are those that do not quite meet the criteria for being nationally-listed, but which are still of architectural or historical importance in their local area.  Councils have their own precise criteria.

How does local listing protect the building?

Locally listed buildings do not enjoy the levels of statutory protection afforded to nationally-listed buildings.  However, local listing means that the interest of the building will be at least considered during the planning process.  The effect of an application on a non-designated heritage asset is a material consideration when deciding planning applications, and local listing strengthens the case for retention of a historic building.

What can be locally-listed?

Local lists are not always restricted to buildings. Archaeology and historic landscapes such as cemeteries are also included on some local lists.

How can I found out what is locally-listed in my area?

The conservation and planning pages of your council's website are the first place to look; many councils have local lists online.  Otherwise planning or conservation officers will be able to tell you whether or not your council has a local list, and how it can be viewed.

How can I get a building locally-listed?

Contact the conservation officer at your local council for details of how to do this. 

Where to find out more

  • Historic England’s good practice guide for local heritage listing