There are over 5000 Grade I, II*, and II listed buildings in Bath on the National Heritage List for England. There is a statutory requirement, set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, to protect listed buildings from inappropriate development that would harm their character as a “building of special architectural or historic interest”. Listed building consent is required for any works of demolition, alteration or extension that would in any way affect the character of the building. All parts of a listed building are protected under this designation.
Listed buildings are ‘listed’ (included on a list) according to a set of criteria that includes a building’s age, architectural style, historic associations, ability to illustrate history, rarity, aesthetic value and other factors. When a building is listed it protects all elements of the property, front, back inside and out and not only what is mentioned in the written description included on the list.
The National Heritage List for England holds information on every listed building in the country; there is also a map search by postcode or location name. You can find out more about the listing process here, including how to apply for a building to be listed, or how to add supplementary information or photographs to a listing to better inform its significance.
Historic England’s Conservation Principles, Policies, and Guidance provides guidance to help understand the special interest or ‘significance’ of heritage assets
Local planning policies, such as the Development Plan aim to protect the significance of listed buildings and their settings as part of the distinctive character and heritage of a district. Section 16 of the National Planning Policy Framework outlines the national policies for listed buildings when considering proposals for material alterations to historic fabric. Historic England additionally offers advice on negotiating the planning system and acquiring listed building consent.
BPT has produced Bath-specific guidance called Making Changes for owners of listed buildings looking to repair, extend, alter and change their buildings, including a section on demystifying the planning process. Our Online Resources provide an overview on heritage and building conservation and energy efficient retrofitting, including our own guidance for improving the energy efficiency of traditional homes, Warmer Bath.
B&NES Council provide further advice regarding Listed Buildings on their website which detail the planning process and their formal and informal pre-application services, which look to provide applicants with helpful advice before they submit a planning application.
Heritage at Risk
BPT maintains a watching brief over these properties and maintains its own list of local heritage assets at risk.