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Conservation and the renovation of listed buildings.

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  • Conservation and the renovation of listed buildings.

Abbeymead Building Contractors have a wealth of knowledge in the field of conservation and the renovation of listed buildings.

Assuming responsibility for a historic or listed building can be an undertaking that is not for the faint-hearted. You are the custodian of a part of the historic or architectural legacy of a nation and the public authorities will see you as such.

Building renovation and repairs are needed to tackle the inevitable decay and deterioration which occurs over time due to weather conditions, normal wear and tear and most often, neglect. Undertaking historic building renovation requires special care and attention to avoid causing damage to the building.

Property owners have to be particularly careful to ensure that works are carried out correctly and to avoid possible prosecution from the local conservation officer. Expect a tight framework of rules and seemingly interminable lists of dos and don’ts.

Bearing in mind the possible uncertainties regarding attached and curtilage structures, the National Heritage List for England and the local planning authority should be consulted if there is any doubt.

Once listed building renovation consent is obtained, the works will need to be carried out sympathetically to the manner in which the building was originally constructed.  Modern methods and materials sometimes cannot be used in historic building and traditional methods and materials must be sourced. You can expect to be allowed to install certain modern conveniences – still often within strict guidelines – but don’t just presume that you can install triple-glazed windows, however tastefully designed, or place solar panels on the roof.

Historic England defines restoration as returning a building to “a known earlier state, on the basis of compelling evidence, without conjecture.”

Abbeymead Building Ltd has experience in historic building renovation using traditional methods such as lathe and lime plaster and carried out works in a number of Grade 1 and 2 residential buildings and museums.

Renovation methods vary around different regions of the country and whilst the majority of our works is based in central London we have successfully carried out works to historic buildings in Kent, The Cotswolds and France. We are also members of CoRE (Centre for Refurbishment Excellence) which provides advice and information in up upgrading the thermal properties of historic buildings.


It is an offence to carry out works that require listed building consent without such a consent being obtained.

If you want to alter or extend a listed building in a way that affects its character or appearance as a building of special architectural or historic interest, or even demolish it, you must first apply for listed building consent from your local planning authority.

Not all works require listed building consent, only demolition or works, alterations and extensions that affect the character of the building as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

You should be aware that carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building is a criminal offence and you could be prosecuted.

The offence is committed by the person who carried out the works (possibly a builder) and by anyone who caused them to be carried out (someone instructing a builder).  It is not a defence to say that the fact that the building was not known to be listed.

Abbeymead building has successfully undertaken repairs and renovation to a numerous museums, historic and listed buildings.
We have the skills and knowledge to carry out our works without detriment to the building whilst maintaining the authentic condition it was constructed in. If you are considering an historic building restoration take advantage of our years of experience.
To find out more about our building restoration services and how we can help you – or to enquire about our specialist building conservation