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Grade 2 can & can't

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On 3 Jan 2011 at 5:52pm mccauley wrote:
Has anyone had any recent experience of what you can and can't do internally on a grade 2 listed property? We're buying a house in Friars Walk, and want to remove a dividing wall in the basement, and some fitted cupboards etc. Any tips or advice gratefully appreciated.
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On 3 Jan 2011 at 7:03pm SHS wrote:
Read a book, eat and go to sleep - no problem. Anything else needs descriptions and drawings (6 copies) + fees + endless patience whilst you get told that the frying pan has historical significance and can't be hung on a hook.
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On 3 Jan 2011 at 9:13pm prufrock wrote:
It has to be said that it is a criminal offence to alter the appearance of a listed building (internally or externally; although more leeway is given for internal alterations that serve modern life) so don't get too relaxed about it. If the fitted cupboards are of any age (and they might be contemporaneous with the house) you might be wise to get consent first. The planning officers are approachable and do not always get things wrong. It would be a shame to buy a house and destroy fittings that have served people for 200 years.
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On 3 Jan 2011 at 10:11pm artichoke wrote:
Look your house up on here: hxxp://lbonline.english-heritage.org.uk/Login.aspx.

In broad terms, it is correct to say that you need to check anything with the planners. But if the component of the building which you propose changing is not mentioned in the listing text, you're unlikely to have problems. Bear in mind that the planners want you to make a formal application for Listed Building Consent because they want your money!
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On 3 Jan 2011 at 11:42pm mccauley wrote:
Thanks for the comments and info. We're don't want to change the character of the building. The interior wall we want removed is just to open the room out more. The cupboards mentioned are basic and don't look that old (poss last 20 years).
No drastic changes planned, but as with any new home we'd like to make it 'ours' once we move in.
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 8:36am Mr Forks wrote:
Artichoke, listed building consent is free! Also the text of the listing means nothing, it's just a description. The fact that the house is listed covers the internal and external fabric fullstop. It seems that some people don't have enough respect for the heritage that surrounds them!
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 8:48am 'ere be monsters wrote:
How many days?
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 10:33am Mystic Mog wrote:
Go and have a chat with the Conservation Officer at LDC's planning office.
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 11:05am sashimi wrote:
Mr mccauley, welcome to Lewes. I hope you enjoy living here as most of the rest of us do.
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 11:57am Mr Forks wrote:
303 days EBM!
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 11:58am queequeg wrote:
Even replacing old horse hair plaster with plaster board is not allowed.
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 12:47pm jrsussex wrote:
I had a listed house in Waltham Abbey years ago. The property was over 400 years old and one of the windows had been twisted out of shape over the years and required replacement. I had to find a joiner to make the window in the exact shape it was in, with identical timber. It was very costly.
Also the house when originally constructed relied entirely on dowels, I was not allowed to use any nails or screws in the property. I never have, or would, buy a listed house since that experience.
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 12:59pm invalid login wrote:
Wow only 303 days.
Where have the days gone
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 1:24pm artichoke wrote:
"Even replacing old horse hair plaster with plaster board is not allowed."

Not really true, that. It's correct to say that even if a listed house has dodgy 1960s internal doors and you want to replace them with something historically accurate, you may still have to apply for permission, but you can apply for LB consent to do anything up to demolition. If the building has been listed more for its street-scape value than its unique historical significance (which I would suggest is the case with Friar's Walk) then I would be very surprised if the planners had any objection to insignificant internal alterations - there's good reason why the house is listed grade II not II* or I.

For my money though, there's a fine line between the sensible preservation of heritage and the over-arching assumption that absolutely everything over a hundred years old must never change in any way, and it's one the planners often overstep.
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 3:54pm Arrogant wrote:
If you buy it with your own money out right.
Its yours!
You should be allowed to do what you want with it!
And if you want to tear down walls (not weight bearing obviously)
Or if you want to paint the external walls pink you should be allowed to!
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 5:04pm Clifford wrote:
And what about demolishing it Arrogant, or do even you draw the line somewhere?
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 6:42pm queequeg wrote:
Excuse me Artichoke but N0.2 Friars Walk was refurbished some years ago and builders mistakenly replaced the horse hair plaster with plasterboard. They had to restore it to it's original condition.
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On 4 Jan 2011 at 9:52pm Peter Byron wrote:
By the time the landscape is dotted with blue and white Tesco stores we will be grateful to see any building in its natural state. History will judge our planners/buiders harshly I fear. Best, peter
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On 5 Jan 2011 at 12:17am Arrogant wrote:
Well Clifford I think buying a house and then destroying it would be quite stupid ... a bit like your comment.
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On 5 Jan 2011 at 7:58am MC wrote:
It's quite common for people do this and not stupid at all. Land in attractive places is worth a lot. It often makes sense to pull down the existing building and build another in it's place.
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On 6 Jan 2011 at 2:56pm bastian wrote:
Chris Morris(no,not that one) is very approachable and knowlegable about the history of your home,talk to him because after all you have just bought a slice of history and I would hope you want to live in a town where the listing has helped retain the towns character.Yes there are laws which it is advisable to listen to,and yes it takes longer than the said 8 weeks to process but that is because Lewes has around 500 listed buildings and only two officers.The triplicate thing is a pain in the nether regions but once you have the formula it's OK.My house is older than friars walk and yet it has one PVC window at the back which means that if I need to replace it I have to have a PVC window put in,seems a little insane but there you are.Keep your nose clean they can screw you for £5000 if you get caught out,or end up with an indemnity when you sell.
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On 6 Jan 2011 at 4:11pm batian wrote:
Of course if you go to the trouble of filling in the paper work,and it is paper not cyber,you become part of the house history and in future archeologists and historians will be able to trace how we lived/adapted our living in these old buildings.Opening up rooms in old places can increase the draughts,and here's some advice from a friend of mine in dartmoor,"Don't pick at the effing walls"...you may pull it all down,they did.Every time we have something done that means a floorboard comiung up etc take photos so you know what lies underneath(incase you have to mend that).
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On 6 Jan 2011 at 7:07pm S'veyor wrote:
h++p://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/appPDF/K5600Form008_england_en.pdf <-- apply for free.
Without planning the UK would resemble down-town Kathmandu. Do buy a listed building (my last one was Grade 1) - you'll own a house with character and a documented history. Don't buy if you want start 'playing' with it - buy a bungalow in Peacehaven instead!
You're welcome!
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On 7 Jan 2011 at 12:17am queequeg wrote:
It's funny isn't it that the buildings and countryside that we most admire grew up in a time before planning committees. Since planning we have had to put up with the prefab extension to the library in Albion St. and the county hall, I'm sure others have pet hates they can add to the list. The next thread, pet architectural carbuncles.


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