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Listed Buildings in Essex
There are about 14222 Listed entries for Essex of which about 9000 are private homes. The number is slightly fluid as more listings are made every year, some are delisted and some are destroyed.
your house is Listed it will have one of three grades :
Grade I - top of the range nationally important building.
Grade II* - largely complete and of regional importance.
Grade II - all the other important historical buildings.
All buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, as are most of those built between 1700 and 1840. The criteria become tighter with time, so that post-1945 buildings have to be exceptionally important to be listed. A building has normally to be over 30 years old to be eligible for listing. (English Heritage).
Listing means your building has been examined and recognised for its historical importance and you should bear this in mind before and after you buy your property.
Listed Buildings like many historic buildings and areas were subject to PPG15 which was an hundred page document outlining the legal restraints placed on such buildings.
Planning Policy Guidance 15 (PPG15) provided a full statement of Government policies for the identification and protection of historic buildings, conservation areas and other elements of the historic environment. It explains the role played by the planning system in their protection.
Planning Policy Guidance 15: Planning and the Historic Environment (PPG15) was replaced by Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment (PPS5) published on 23 March 2010. (CLG).
Listed Buildings that have been neglected are put on the Buildings at Risk Register run by the Planning Authority. This is really designed to highlight and shame property owners who have allowed their buildings to fall apart. Essex County Council publishes these details.
The BARR can be used to identify potential investments for developers who might like to restore these ancient buildings or for home owners to seek grants to help repair them.
For impartial advice you can employ me. For definitive council policy contact your local Planning Authority.