Finding a listed building

If you want to do building work in your home or are moving into a new home on which you plan to do building work on in future, you should check that it's not a listed building.

What is a listed building?

Listed buildings are buildings that have been determined to be of ‘special architectural or historic interest’.

Any plan to change these structures that might affect their special character must be agreed by the council. Currently councils issue this consent, known as Listed Building Consent, following expert advice from Historic Environment Division within the Department for Communities .

Extra rules to normal planning permissions apply in the case of listed buildings. To find listed buildings in your area, you should use the contact details and websites listed in the section below.

Grading of listed buildings

Listed buildings in Northern Ireland are divided into four categories to give an indication of their relative importance. Gradings in Northern Ireland (unlike elsewhere in the UK) are not statutory. 

The categories contained within the list can be defined as follows:

Grade A

Special buildings of national importance including both outstanding grand buildings and the fine, little altered examples of some important style or date.

Grade B+

Special buildings that might have merited A status but for relatively minor detracting features such as impurities of design, or lower quality additions or alterations. Also buildings that stand out above the general mass of grade B1 buildings because of exceptional interiors or some other features.

Grade B1 and B2

Special buildings of more local importance or good examples of some period of style. Some degree of alteration or imperfection may be acceptable

Historic Buildings in Northern Ireland may also have some protection as a result of their location in a Conservation Area, Area of Townscape or Village Character or inclusion as a building of local importance within a Local Landscape Policy Area.

This information should be indicated on the current local area plan for your location. Conservation areas can however be designated independently of the plan process and you should therefore check with your council’s local planning office to be certain.

How to find out if a building is listed

You can find out if a building is listed in Northern Ireland by looking up the Northern Ireland Buildings Database. This contains information on all listed buildings in the region as well as information on buildings recorded since 1997 that do not meet the statutory test.

The Statutory List (held in paper form) contains further information on buildings that have not been reviewed since 1997. This can be accessed at the Northern Ireland monuments and buildings record, held by the Historic Environment Division and also deposited with local councils. 

Staff in the Historic Environment Division are happy to confirm if a structure is listed or not and can be contacted as follows:

Heritage Buildings Designation Branch
Historic Environment Division
Klondyke Building
Cromac Avenue
Gasworks Business Park
Lower Ormeau Road
Belfast
BT7 2JA
Monuments and Buildings Record
Historic Environment Division
Klondyke Building
Cromac Avenue
Gasworks Business Park
Lower Ormeau Road
Belfast
BT7 2JA

For further information please check the attached links:

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