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?
I have no direct experience of this, but you could start with a look at http://www.architect-yourhome.com/. Even if you don't want to use their services it may help you understand some of the processes.
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...
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 is...er...rather my field.
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.