I am thinking of purchasing a grade II listed building which is a converted barn and was part of the Appley Farm Estate, Marlborough Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight. It has been used as holiday let for some time but I would like to make this my home. The interior, in my opinion, does not work, with the bathroom & toilet immediately leading off of the kitchen. What would I be allowed to change internally and would I be able to add a conservatory. The windows and doors are replacements in white plastic. Before making any commitment to purchase, your advice would be much appreciated. With many thanks.

Mrs Margaret Green

8 January 2015

  • Lindsey Davis


    The best thing to do it so get in touch with the Conservation officer and Listed Building officer. They will be able to tell you what can and can’t be done, because as you are probably aware, listed buildings carry certain allowances.

    Best wishes,

  • Richard Harris

    A great deal will depend on both the competence of of your local officials. As a general rule, anythign that appears to restore or reflect the original character and function of the building should be looked upon sympathetically. A conservatory may be beyond the pale though. When we wanted to replace our cheap 1980s Wickes external doors with custom-made oak doors (carefully researched to match the period of the building) the local planning dweebs turned us down and wanted us to put in expensive copies of 1980s Wickes doors. We just escalated the argument until we won. If your intent is to restore the character of the building to match the intent of the listing, it may well be worth your employing an historic building specialist to support your arguments. If however you see a Listing as an impediment to be ‘got around’ then you probably shouldn’t be buying a listed building.

  • Jeremy Olm

    Best bet is to get a property manager or an estate agent to help you sort out the regulations. There are a lot of rulings for different ares in the UK that are best adhered to especially when it comes to major overhauls of your home!

  • peter ward

    Conservation officers will want you to follow sound conservation principles. For a start, the pvc windows would be very unwelcome – and almost certainly illegal in the first place, so any proposal to return them to something in keeping with the listed building would be welcomed. Legally, anything that affects a ‘material change’ to the fabric of the building requires consent. But – if bathrooms and kitchens are subdivided with modern partitions, there probably would be no objection. You would not be popular for removing historic fabric. Contrary to popular opinion, conservation officers are not ogres. But… they are used to people trying to force listed buildings into a modern lifestyle – you have to be prepared to retain historic fabric and character. Anything of significance can’t be altered. So.. if you work WITH your CO – you’ll get a good and fair hearing. It really helps to do your research before speaking to them – so if you are going to change windows for eg, research other similar houses in the area – photograph the windows, draw designs and sections – give them the evidence they need that your proposal fits conservation guidelines. You’ll need to come up with the basis of a Design and Access document – which under the NPPF(National Planning Policy Framework) document, section 12, the principle of carrying out non-destructive intervention, in this case includes conservation of the original, primary fabric and then the rationalisation of the present accommodation to provide a more meaningful domestic layout. Under NPPF 12.7, the desirability to sustain and to enhance the significance of Heritage Assets, though their continued use. Have a look at this page about listed consent, then on the left menu is a link to Design and Access statements – on that page is a downloadable example of a DAS – it shows the things your CO will look for.


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