A listed property can boast period features, century-old charm and can be an interesting selling point. But, when bought they can also present a number of issues for the purchaser. This is especially an important consideration to make when buying a listed property for commercial development, as you may find your ambitions curtailed by lots of red tape.
Which is why there are a number of things to consider before buying a listed building for property development:
Consider the Grading
The restrictions on what you can and cannot do with a listed property are completely reliant on the grade. A higher graded building will obviously have more restrictions, so it is important to know beforehand what to expect.
For England and Wales, grading is as follows:
- Grade I – A building with outstanding architectural or historical interest.
- Grade II* – Of significant interest above the local level.
- Grade II – Buildings with special architectural or historic interest.
This information is freely available on the local council’s website, in the planning section. Once you know the grade of the building you can determine what would be feasible when it comes to renovations or commercial development of the property.
One of the biggest issues facing anyone considering developing a listed building is consent to do so. Due to listed status, even the simplest of changes can require consent from the local authority. As a listed property, both internal and external features are protected. Meaning you will need consent even if you plan to make changes indoors.
Additions are much more achievable on listed properties, rather than demolishing or changing the existing building. So, extending the property may be more feasible than removing an interior wall.
Failure to achieve the appropriate consent is considered a criminal offence and so should be avoided.
Repairs and Maintenance
A modern building will require much less maintenance and repairs than an older, traditional, listed building. Making the cost of such regular repairs a major consideration to make before purchase. In particular, keeping the building moisture free will be a major concern over the life of the building as this can cause major problems for older buildings.
Specialist materials may also be required for certain maintenance work, such as replacing gutters and drainage on the property. This is due to the features being protected under the buildings listed status – yes, even the gutters are included in this. Specialist tradesman may also be required to conduct the repair work, so be sure to check this before purchase.
The wrong advice can be very costly when it comes to listed buildings, so it is always necessary to seek out experts before making a decision.
Our skilled team offer comprehensive building consultancy, providing development appraisals, specification preparation, design and project management of any refurbishment works. At Roger Hannah & Co preparation and submission of Planning Permission applications can also be dealt with. So, you can be sure that all work is done as appropriate for the listed building that you purchase.
If you’re unsure about your next commercial property purchase, get in touch with our commercial property acquisitions team today as they’ll be able to help you make a more advised decision on your future acquirement.