The Equality Act and Listed Buildings

Whenever alterations are proposed that affect the character or appearance of a listed building (including inside), then consent is required. This is because all buildings and areas of architectural and historic importance together with their setting should always be preserved.

Where it is proposed to undertake alteration works, either internally or externally to a Listed Building, or to a building within a Conservation Area it is advisable to contact the local authority to determine whether listed building consent or planning permission would be required. Listed Building Consent applies to all works either external or internal that would affect a buildings special interest.

The requirements for access under the Equality Act 2010 do not override the need for listed building and/or scheduled monument consent and making historic buildings fully inclusive and accessible may not always be possible. In each case, options need to be carefully considered within the variety of individual factors that make up the special significance and characteristics of an historical building.

There is often a unique and sometimes innovative solution required in providing access and there is no single way of dealing with all situations. It is therefore advisable to consider use of an access consultant or auditor.