Campaign for easier rules on stately home alterations | Property | Life & Style

The Listed Property Owners Club is lobbying Parliament to rethink rules introduced in 2012 that removed VAT concessions on authorised alterations to listed buildings. This has made it too expensive for many to afford vital work on their homes, says Craig Mackinlay MP, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on listed properties. 

Despite local government red tape and cost, listed buildings are as popular as ever because who wouldn’t want to live in one of the most attractive homes in the country? Yet what’s the difference between Grade I and Grade II or Grade A and Grade B as they’re known in Scotland and Northern Ireland? 

“Grade I listed properties are classed as of exceptional national architectural or historic importance, whereas Grade II listed properties are classed as properties of particular national importance and special interest,” says Dexters sales director Dominic Reeves. 

His Putney branch is selling a twobedroom, two-bathroom apartment at Grade I-listed Roehampton House, within walking distance of Richmond Park in south west London, for £895,000 (020 8789 9999; dexters.co.uk). “Listed properties do make it a challenge for buyers to make any changes to the building,” he explains. 

“Owners would need to apply for listed building consent for types of work that affect the reasons for the property being protected in the first place. This is usually in relation to the exterior as opposed to interior of the building.”

Russell Ball, sales director of Dexters’ Prime Central London branch adds: “In my experience, there are individuals that have a degree of wealth who almost have a mission to buy and preserve Grade I Listed properties. 

“We often see interest for such properties from international buyers who are looking to purchase a slice of history in London and have the opportunity of a project to restore Grade I properties to their original glory. “This helps preserve the historical value of these properties and the more original the property, the more likely these buyers are to purchase it. 

“These are individuals that can be called whenever a property of historic interest comes to the market and they will come and view it almost regardless of where it is and how much it is being marketed at.”

These are the people who might be interested in Glenborrodale Castle, a 16-bedroom Grade A-listed Scottish baronial mansion on the shore of idyllic Ardnamurchan Peninsula in Lochaber, in the heart of the Highlands. 

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