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Historic buildings in East Dorset

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for compiling lists of buildings and which are of special architectural or historic interest. Buildings are selected in accordance with advice from English Heritage and graded to show their relative importance.

In East Dorset there are currently 690 entries in the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Importance, of which 19 are Grade I buildings and 41 are Grade II*. There are also many other buildings that lie within the curtilage (the ground adjacent to a building and associated with its use, normally in the same ownership as the building) of listed buildings. These are subject to the same controls as listed buildings.

The Design and Conservation Section carries out the council's statutory responsibilities in safeguarding the district's stock of historic buildings. We have produced a Listed Building in East Dorset leaflet that provides a brief background to the legislation covering buildings of special architectural or historic interest.

Special permission known as Listed Building Consent may be needed from the Local Planning Authority to carry out works of demolition, alteration or extension that would affect the character of a listed building. Also, in certain circumstances, listed building consent may be needed for the installation of a satellite dish. Further information from the Council on satellite dishes can be found in A Householder's Planning Guide for the Installation of Satellite Television Dishes.

In respect of the need for planning permission, there are also different permitted development rights if a house is a listed building. 

The Design and Conservation Section conducts pre-application discussions with owners and their agents on the feasibility of proposals to alter or extend historic buildings; provides advice on Listed Building Applications; and where necessary, assists in the enforcement of historic building legislation.

Advice is also given on the sensitive adaptation of redundant buildings that ensures their long-term conservation. The district council in conjunction with Vodafone received a Royal Town Planning Institute 'Planning Achievement' Award in 1994 for the rescue of the massive 18th century Horton Tower and its new use as a telecommunications station.

We can advise on appropriate repairs to historic buildings in terms of architectural authenticity, the use of traditional materials and building techniques and publish the following guidance:

  • Historic Buildings - a fragile heritage (This document is available on request from the Design and Conservation Section)
  • Timber Windows - Conservation and Repair (This document is available on request from the Design and Conservation Section)
  • Pointing with Lime Mortars (This document is available on request from the Design and Conservation Section)
  • Cob Walls in East Dorset

We also administer the council's Grants and Loans Scheme for conservation work to Listed Buildings, including historic churches. Application forms are available on request.

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