Refurbishing a listed flat?

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Monday 5 November 2007 12.29pm
Hey all,

My wife and I have just moved into a small antiquated (1980s) flat in a listed building, and it really needs gutting. We're hoping to open up some load-bearing walls too.

Has anyone had any experience of this and the Southwark planning office?
Any recommendations of local structural engineers / architects that could give us a hand with the whole listed building consent / freeholder permission / building regs?

At a bit of a loss about where to start!

Monday 5 November 2007 1.45pm
I have no direct experience of this, but you could start with a look at Even if you don't want to use their services it may help you understand some of the processes.
Monday 5 November 2007 3.55pm
what status is the listing - it can affect whether it is just the external envelope (walls & roof) appearance or if it also includes internal walls.

unless the internal walls are definietly not load bearing i'd recommend an architect/engineer look at it for you and let them sort out the listed building side of things while they are at it
Monday 5 November 2007 4.12pm
check out English Heritage's guide for owners

regardless of the grade of listing, LB consent is needed for alterations to any fitment that is contemporary with the original building or pre-dates 1948, whichever is the later. This includes ceilings, internal doors, windows, floors, fireplaces...
Monday 5 November 2007 4.20pm
If it is only a 1980s building the chances are that the interior will not concern the authorities in the least. I doubt it very much. You must, of course, not take a sledge hammer to walls without knowing what you are doing, or the place will fall down. But any competent builder should know about this (my guys certainly do, as do I of course).The listing probably pertains to windows (and style thereof), balconies (if there are any) and that sort of thing. The only listed buildings where anyone is interested to know what you are doing inside are ones with historically unique panelling, tiling, plasterwork, timbering and so on, which is not going to be the case for you. Do pm me if you have any more queries, this my field.
Monday 5 November 2007 4.35pm
Thanks for the advice, and thank you for the useful links.
To answer questions, it's a grade II listed, originally a fire station dating from 1869 but spent about 100 years as a hostel before being turned to flats in the early 80s. It only got listed about 10 years ago so it doesn't have anything original apart from sash windows, although English Heritage and Southwark Planning imply that I'll still need permission to change anything more integral than a lightbulb.

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