An individual has recently been fined £1,200 after pleading guilty to making unauthorised changes to his grade II listed home.

After being granted permission for a single storey rear extension to his property the defendant made several subsequent applications to the council for the construction of a balustrade to the rear, ground floor flat roof. All of his applications were refused.

Despite this, he made alterations to his property by installing a hot tub, fencing and a balustrade without planning permission and listed building consent.

This case demonstrates the enforcement powers available to Local Authorities when it comes to compliance with listed building works. Listed building consent is required for any alteration that would affect the building’s character. Unless authorised, demolition, alteration or extension to a listed building which would affect the building’s character as a special building of special architectural or historic interest, is a criminal offence.

A person is liable of an offence if they carry out the work in question, but a person can also be held liable for the works if they allow them to be carried out. This means that potentially architects, surveyors and builders could be prosecuted, as well as owners and occupiers of a listed building.

When dealing with an offender in the Magistrates Court, the Magistrates have the power to order an unlimited fine, up to 6 months imprisonment or both. When considering the level of a fine, financial benefit which the individual has accrued or would be likely to accrue as a result of the offence is taken into account.

Sarah-Jane is an Associate in our planning team and acts for a range of clients including businesses and private individuals who require assistance through the planning process. If you have any questions please get in touch by telephone 01872 265100 or by email