How To Get A Listed Building Delisted (Complete Guide)

The building listing requires constant monitoring of properties to see if they meet the evaluation criteria that they were first accredited for. If the building no longer meets the listed criteria, it may be reported for exclusion from the list by the Local Planning Authority. The application for de-listing can be done by any observer -whether the owner of the property or a monitoring person- that believes the listing status of the building has been disrupted. It should be noted that the de-listing application is a separate process from the “listing review”, hence it is a of decision-making process about the building’s status. [1]

When can applications for de-listing be made?

Each de-listing application is assessed on a case-by-case basis and there is no right of appeal for listing / de-listing decisions made by the department. This means thar when an application for listing has been made, the owner of the property is notified before the building is published in the list. The notification informs the owner that the application has been revised and accepted by the local planners for listing. However, if the owner decides to de-list the building, a new application can be made after the notification (for inclusion on the list) has been published. 

Any application for de-listing cannot be considered if:

  • The buildings had repairs notice served on them.
  • The building is subject to an appeal against refusal of consent.
  • A prosecution of enforcement action is present.

Guidance and Forms can be found in the following links:





How should applications for de-listing be made?

The first thing to be done when applying for de-listing a property is to read the guidance notes that help the reader fill out the required forms correctly. It should be noted that less than 50% of the applications are considered for de-listing.

The request form should be filled out completely in order to be considered for review. The review process accepts a de-listing decision only when it states significant evidence that a decision has been wrongly made. The review request must contain solid grounds with significant information. This can include photographic evidence, maps where appropriate, and surveys that are conducted by a conservation specialist to present all details for review.

Besides the information on the property, the applicant must provide personal information, that won’t be shared with third parties, such as name and contact details. The de-listing process cannot be reviewed unless there is contact information.

Once the request has been sent and reviewed by the responsible council, an investigation is carried out on-site and consulted with interested parties before preparing a report to the judge to make the final decision. It is important to note that only the applications that state comments on the special architectural or historic interest of the building are considered. 

Why would a building be de-listed?

The application may be made when there is a lack of evidence about the absence of the previously designated architectural or historic interest of the building, or material change, such as earthquakes or fire damages. [2]

There are several reasons for a building to be listed:

Unapproved Changes in the Building

In cases of unapproved changes that occur to a listed building, the authorizing power can carry out an assessment to see if the building still meets the originally nominated status. These may occur when the owner of the property carries out maintenance or renovation activities without the approval of the related council. These operations usually lead to the loss of the heritage status of the property.

In cases of unapproved changes occurred on a listed building, an application for de-listing needs to demonstrate that the restoration of such changes would still not allow the building to meet the legislative test for listing.

Please note that: any unauthorized work to a building may attract criminal prosecution or enforcement procedures, with significant implications in terms of costs to the property owner as well as court judgement.

Evidence on the Lack of Architectural or Historic Interest

The building will be de-listed if it no longer meets at least one of the requirements of the following categories:

  • Architectural interest: the building must be of special architectural interest in its design, decoration, or craftmanship. These include particularly significant examples of building types or techniques, significant plan forms, engineering, and technological interest, the functioning of the building, and artistic distinction.
  • Historic interest: the building must illustrate important aspects of the nation’s history and/or have close historical associations with important figures, groups, or events. The building must reflect a strong connection with the valued aspect of history. [2]

These may occur where there is significant new evidence relating to the date of a building that has been discovered, or when there has been a material change of circumstances affecting the assessment of a building that it has lost its features of special interest.

Irregularity in the Listing Process

In some cases, it is also possible that the original listing was not warranted in the first place. If works are imminent, underway, or listed building application has been wrongly made, a decision on de-listing would be helpful to inform the consent process.

Factual Error

In some rare cases, a factual error happens such as the wrong building was listed, or the wrong evaluation of the building has been conducted in the first place. In these cases, the de-listing process takes place much faster. A special case is when permission is given by a local authority to demolish a listed building and remains listed in the archives. This happens when the national lists are not updated in accordance with the local authority. In this case, it is possible to inform the authority and confirm that the building was legally demolished before de-listing it.

Advantages of de-listing a building

De-Listing can lower the expenses on such operations inside and outside the building such as pipes installations, tiles, and other decorative materials. The renovation and other architectural activities such as refurbishment cost less and be done in the way the owner wants. In the case of selling the property, it can appeal to a bigger portion of buyers that increases the chances of a sale. Other costs such as insurance, taxes, and maintenance are lowered as well. [3]

Disadvantages of de-listing a building

The listed property has a relatively higher value when compared to the other buildings, especially in cases of first graded special properties. De-listing a property excludes it from the national heritage archives that value it as a regular property in the real estate market. As a matter of fact, some buyers seek listed properties that are regarded as assets. [4]

It should be taken into account that a de-listing process can take around five months and incur significant expenses. As explained above, the process can be arduous and must be done with attention.


[1]       English Heritage, Removing a Building from the List, August 2010.

[2]       Historic England, Removing a Building from the List, January 2019.


[4]       Pembroke shire Coast National Park Authority, Listed Buildings: A Guide for Owners and Occupiers, August 2012.