Far too much unecessary meddling from LA Council Planning and Heritage officers. The rules are UK wide and vary from council to council – the prime example of inconsistency. What one would have approved in Herefordshire would be given a totally different ruling in Hertfordshire for a similar type of building and location. Heritage officers appear to be untrained in building techniques and require keeping on an old building ugly alterations made back in the 1950's – an example, crittall windows – single glazed metal frames – the rules demand (from St Albans Council) that the windows replaced are the same or they encourage you to keep them. Replacement hand madee timber windows would be more in keeping, but this appears unacceptable to some councils.
The last improvement to allow more light into my house via a light tunnel (no bigger than a glass fruit bowl on my roof) resulted in 3 council officers attending my address at the same time – a waste of time and money.
Councils officers should be required to sit down with the applicant and work out alternatives at similar cost. Makes it almost impossible to make alterations including carbon saving measures on listed buildings.
Downgrade grade II listing to that of any other ordinary building as most of these are not any building of historical interest. They were listed en masse back in the 70's and 80's without any thought or logical reasoning. many have been altered to a great extent in the 50's, 60's and 70's.
Keep grade I listing on specific dwellings/buildings of great importance. We do not all own Anne Hathaways cottage or anything resembling it !!!!
Finally why is this a criminal offence to alter the building (except for intentionaldestruction). Surely this should be a civil court issue. I feel I do not own my own house as some meddling council official can come along and demand this and that.