South Kesteven is one of the most heritage rich local authority districts in the East Midlands. We have around 2150 listed buildings, some 600 of which are located in Stamford. Listed buildings are protected by law and Listed Building Consent is required for any changes that would alter their special character. It is a criminal offence to undertake works to a listed building without first obtaining Listed Building Consent. The legal penalties can be severe (Max £20,000 fine or 6 month prison sentence, or both). In addition, you might have to put right any changes made. A building may be considered of special interest for a variety of reasons including age, architectural merit, rarity, group value or historical connections. Listing ensures that the architectural and historic interests of the building is carefully considered separately from the merits of any development proposals and before any alterations, either external or internal, are agreed. Generally all buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are listed, so are most built between 1700 and 1840 with most original features intact. There are three grades of listed building, and the grades reflect their architectural and historic importance: Grade l buildings (about 2% of the total) are buildings of exceptional interest Grade ll* buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest (about 4% of all listed buildings) Grade ll buildings are of special interest and every effort should be made to preserve them There are 120 Grade l listed buildings in South Kesteven and around 200 Grade ll*. The owners and occupiers of listed buildings are notified when a building is added to the list. Prospective buyers will find the information in their pre-contract local land charge. Some small, strictly "like-for-like" repairs in terms of materials and details used and techniques replicated can be carried out without formal consent. It is still advisable that any works are discussed with our Conservation team before starting. Repair is always preferred to replacement. Any plan to demolish all or part of a listed building, or make changes, inside or out, that would alter its character (such as modifying a window or demolishing an outhouse) needs consent. If you are carrying out general maintenance or repairs that match the existing building exactly, you may not need consent but we can advise you before you start work. There is no statute of limitations on unauthorised works to listed buildings. This means that it doesn't matter how long after the event the authority become aware of their being carried out, they are not immune from enforcement action. If listed buildings fall into disrepair the council has statutory powers to serve notice requiring owners to carry out urgent repairs to prevent further deterioration. If an owner fails to comply with such a notice, the council can step in and do the works themselves and charge the cost to the owner. In extreme cases, the building can be compulsorily purchased. Scheduled Ancient Monuments (SAMs) are subject to a separate legislative regime that is not administered by the district council. Anyone contemplating work to a Scheduled Ancient Monument should contact the East Midlands Regional Office of Historic England at Northampton. Tel: 01604 735400 We have 92 Scheduled Ancient Monuments in South Kesteven. Some Scheduled Ancient Monuments are also listed buildings (e.g. Market Cross and Conduit Grantham, Village Cross and Lock Up, Deeping St. James).