A 'listed building' is a building, object or structure that has been judged to be of special historical or architectural interest. It is included on a register called the 'List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest', which is drawn up by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), on the advice of English Heritage.
Listed buildings are graded in three bands and their definitions are as follows:
- Grade I: 'Buildings are of exceptional interest';
- Grade II*: 'Buildings are particularly important buildings of more than special interest';
- Grade II: 'Buildings are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them'.
Within Stafford Borough there are 832 listed buildings:
- 22 Grade I (2.6%);
- 63 Grade II* (7.6%; and
- 747 Grade II (89%)
Regardless of grade, the listing includes any object or structure fixed to the building, internal features as well as external, and can also include certain structures within the curtilage of the building, such as outbuildings or boundary walls.
Listed Building Consent is required for all works of demolition, alteration or extension to a listed building that affects its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. If works are carried out without the necessary consent, this is an offence under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and is liable to prosecution.