Two women carrying out survey in street
© Historic England
© Historic England

Who Do I Contact About Making Changes?

Find out who the key points of contact are while you are planning and making changes to an older home. This page explains the role of local authorities and Historic England and provides contact details and free helpline numbers for other sources of advice.

Find more information on the type of consent you might need if you want to make changes on What Permission Might I Need?

Your local authority

The planning department of your local authority decides whether to grant planning permission or listed building consent for proposed work.

It is always advisable to consult your local authority at an early stage of developing your proposals. They can provide advice both before and during the application process. The key people to contact there are:

The building control officer will be able to advise you whether you need building regulations approval for planned work.

Most local authorities employ a conservation officer, who offers expert advice on applications relating to historic buildings and areas. 

They will be able to advise you on whether you will need extra consent for planned work, and what kind of work might be most appropriate for your house and its setting.

County archaeologists advise local planning authorities on the archaeological implications of development proposals.

If you think your work might affect archaeology on your land, contact the county archaeologist to discuss how to approach the work.

When Historic England is consulted

We at Historic England don’t usually work with individual owners directly. Local authorities consult us about some planning or listed building applications. Broadly, these relate to proposals for Grade I and II* listed buildings and the most serious changes to Grade II listed buildings.

Other sources of advice

Free advice helplines

National Amenity Societies

These are specialist organisations that have expertise on historic buildings of particular types or periods. If your home (listed or not) falls within the remit of one of these societies you can contact them for specialist advice on a range of issues.

  • Historic Buildings and Places - concerned with ancient monuments, historic buildings of all ages and types, and fine old craftsmanship. Known as the Ancient Monuments Society until October 2021 
  • The Council for British Archaeology - concerned with all historic buildings, but with a particular interest in the archaeology of subterranean and standing structures.
  • The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings - concerned mainly with structures dating from before 1700, but also with philosophical and technical aspects of conservation.
  • The Georgian Group - concerned with architecture and architecture-related arts from 1700 to 1840.
  • The Victorian Society - concerned with Victorian and Edwardian architecture and architecture-related arts between 1840 and 1914.
  • The Twentieth Century Society  - concerned with architecture from 1914 onwards.