Listed buildings explained

Information about listed buildings in the borough which have special architectural or historic interest and are protected by law.

With over 3,800 listed buildings Kensington and Chelsea is a beautiful and historic part of London.

When a building is listed all of the building is protected, including the inside, its internal features and any later extensions.

This means consent is required from the Council for changes that would affect the building’s character - as listed buildings are a crucial part of England’s national heritage it is a criminal offence to carry out works which affect their interest without consent.

Whilst regular maintenance and some repairs do not require listed building consent, larger scale changes such as extensions and removing internal walls will. Listed building consent is also required for smaller changes and these include:

  • Re-plastering
  • Removing or adding decorative features such as cornices, skirtings, fireplaces, internal doors and architraves
  • Removing floorboards
  • New openings within walls
  • Changes to gates and railings
  • Adding suspended ceilings
  • Adding recessed lighting
  • Air conditioning
  • Any alterations to windows including secondary glazing
  • Alarm boxes
  • CCTV
  • Vents

Both the owner and the person who carried out the works will be liable, can get a criminal record and can be fined up to £20,000 for a single offence by the magistrate’s court or an unlimited fine in the crown court.

Always seek advice

Advice on maintenance, repairs and what will require listed building consent is available from the Council. Because all listed buildings are different and unique, what is actually protected can vary widely from one building to the next; residents can save time and money on proposed changes by using the Council’s advice service before appointing an architect.

Your building does not have to be preserved exactly as it is now, but alterations and extensions must be carried out in a manner that respects the building’s historical and architectural importance.

If you are not sure whether listed building consent is required, please contact PlanningLine 020 7361 3012 or use the Council’s advice service.

Some useful links are included below:

Last updated: 29 November 2019