In the UK there is a tradition of protecting ‘good’ examples of period architecture or buildings of historical interest by the ‘listing’ of buildings under what is now the Listed Building and Conservation Areas Act 1990.
Until 1 April 2005, responsibility for dealing with applications for buildings to be listed rested with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. On that date, responsibility was transferred to English Heritage, which will assess the building in consultation with the local authority and property owner and then make the necessary recommendation to the Secretary of State.
The requirements for listing of buildings and the consequences of a building being listed have puzzled many a property owner. However, it is understood that English Heritage is to produce clearer guidelines regarding what is required of owners of listed buildings and detailed guidelines on the relevant factors for approval of listing and de-listing applications. English Heritage’s short guide, can be found online: ‘Listing has Changed’