Malvern Hills District Council has a rich and widely varied historic environment ranging from Capability Brown's Croome Court, to humble vernacular buildings that nestle among the hillsides and valleys of our area; from the highly individual villas of Great Malvern to the ancient streets of our market towns.

Within the district there are 1890 listed buildings, 21 designated conservation areas and 54 Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

We deliver a range of services and provide information on the historic built environment.

  • We consider, in partnership with the Development Management team, applications for Listed Building Consent to ensure that their special interest is retained and not harmed.
  • We consider and advise on development proposals in conservation areas.
  • We designate new conservation areas, review existing conservation areas and prepare, consult upon and publish Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Strategies.
  • We provide informal advice to owners of listed buildings and to others on the appropriate philosophy, techniques and materials for the care and preservation of historic buildings, groups and settlements.
  • We analyse historic buildings and their settings and give informal advice to owners and/or their agents on whether proposed works would respect the character of listed buildings or the character and appearance of conservation areas.
  • We give design and conservation advice to the Development Management team in their consideration of applications for planning permission
  • We investigate cases, in partnership with the Enforcement team, where it appears that works have been carried out without necessary Listed Building Consent and take action or advise the council as appropriate.
  • We defined the council's position where an applicant appeals against a refusal of Listed Building Consent..
  • We represent the council on the Malvern Hills AONB Joint Advisory Committee.

Listed Buildings

A listed building is a building which has been included in a statutory list of buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, prepared by English Heritage.

Search for a listed building

The list includes a wide variety of buildings including farm buildings, bridges, milestones, churches and telephone kiosks, approximately 1900 of which are within the Malvern Hills District with the majority added between 1984 and 1989. These buildings represent the best and most important examples of our built heritage.

Listing is carried out nationally, and the District Council holds a statutory list of buildings in their area. Listing is a means of protecting these buildings from works which would harm their special interest, so that they are preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.

Buildings are selected for listing on set criteria such as their architectural interest, historic interest, close historical association or group value. Age and rarity are important considerations. To show their relative national importance listed buildings are graded.

There are three Grades namely;

Grade I are buildings of exceptional interest (nationally only about 2% of listed buildings)

Grade II* are particularly important buildings of more than special interest (only about 4% of listed buildings)

Grade II are buildings of special interest, which warrant every effort being made to preserve them (94% of listed buildings)

There is no legal difference in the protection afforded by these grades. More information can be found in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

The buildings are listed in their entirety, including both their interior and exterior.  Boundary walls and other structures within the building or structure's historic curtilage may also be included. It should also be assumed that objects or structures fixed to the building are listed.

List descriptions are intended primarily to aid identification and are not a definitive list of important features.

If in doubt, please contact the council's Conservation Officers for advice on individual cases.

Advice and Guidance

We offer pre-application advice to potential applicants on the likelihood of getting permission for alterations to or development affecting a listing building

Apply for listed building pre-application advice

Further information can be found in our guidance on pre-application advice document.

Apply for Listed Building Consent

Applications for listed building consent can be submitted by making an online application.

Apply for Listed Building Consent

If you are unable to apply online please download and complete a paper form to be returned by post.

Your proposal may also require planning permission. For combined listed building consent and planning application forms, see Planning Applications Forms.

Frequently asked questions

Should I discuss my proposal with the Conservation Officer before submitting an application for Listed Building Consent?

Advice to owners, agents and developers is an important part of the listed building application process and the Council's Conservation Officers are available to discuss your proposal before you submit your application.  However, such advice is given without prejudice to the determination of any subsequent application, by the Council's Elected Members.

What is the effect of listing?

Works to alter a listed building which, in the opinion of the district council, affects its character as a building of special architectural interest, require Listed Building Consent.  This is required in addition to any planning permission or Building Regulations approval which may be needed.  However, regular maintenance which does not affect the character of a listed building can be carried out without needing listed building consent.  Consent is not normally required for repairs but, where any repairs will involve alterations which would affect the character of the listed building, then consent would be required.  Whether repairs constitute alterations which require consent is a matter which must be determined by the district council. The following list gives some examples of works which require Listed Building Consent. This list is not exhaustive and you should check on the need for consent with the Conservation Officer at the District Council before starting any works to a listed building.

  • Demolition. Total or part demolition of a listed building requires Listed Building Consent.
  • Extensions regardless of size or siting, require Listed Building Consent, including porches and  conservatories.
  • Alterations or replacement windows.
  • Insertion of new windows, doors and roof lights.
  • Rendering or painting of exterior walls.
  • Repointing.
  • Replacement of natural materials with such as concrete, imitation stone, resins or plastic.
  • Removal of rendering to expose timber framing or masonry walls.
  • Change of roof materials, for example, the replacement of clay tiles with concrete tiles or thatch with tiles.
  • Fixing or removal of barge-boards and soffits, window shutters, changing or demolishing chimney stacks.      
  • Replacement of cast iron rainwater goods with plastic.
  • Installation of solar panels or satellite antennae.
  • Fixing of advertisement signs or shop front sun blinds.
  • Alteration or removal of interior features of interest such as doors, fireplace surrounds, over-mantles, staircases etc.
  • 'Gutting' a building and removal of lath & plaster ceilings and horse hair plaster, wattle & daub panels, etc
  • Removal or construction of internal walls.
Listed Building Consent may also be needed for general improvements and modernisation, such as the installation of a central heating system or electrical wiring where the installation would affect special interior features such as wall panelling, decorative plasterwork, wall paintings or carved timbers. If at any time you are unsure whether Listed Buildings Consent is needed please contact the Conservation Officer at the Planning Services Department for advice BEFORE you carry out the work. The fact that a building is listed does not necessarily mean that it must be preserved unaltered for all time; the main purpose of listing is to ensure that care is taken over decisions affecting its future and that any alterations respect the particular character and interest of the building. There are, however, certain alterations which are rarely acceptable, such as the insertion of UVPC doors and windows, the removal of important historic features such as windows, doors and staircases, and the replacement of natural materials with imitation. It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and you should check with the Conservation Officer.

How much will a Listed Building Consent application cost me?

There is no fee payable for making a Listed Building Consent application.  There is however a hidden cost in the level of drawn detail and supporting information, such as a Design and Access Statements, and in the majority of cases this will require a registered architect or chartered building surveyor. Where a planning application is submitted in parallel with an application for listed building consent, a single, combined statement should address the requirements of both. The combined statement should address the elements required in relation to a planning application in the normal way, and the additional requirements in relation to listed building consent. The design and access statement should explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to the scale, layout and appearance characteristics of a proposal. A design and access statement relating to listed building consent should include a brief explanation, of how the design has taken account of the special architectural interest of the building including the following aspects:

  • The historic and special architectural importance of the building
  • The particular physical features of the building that justify its designation as a listed building; and
  • The building's setting.
The statement will need to explain the approach to ensuring that the historic and special architectural importance of the listed building is preserved or enhanced. Where an aspect of the design has the potential to affect this adversely, the statement should explain why it is necessary, and what measures have been taken to minimise its impact.

What penalties apply if I carry out work without a necessary listed building consent?

It is a criminal offence to carry out works without first obtaining Listed Building Consent, and the penalties for this can be heavy, in the form of a fine or imprisonment.   Legal action can be taken against anybody who was responsible for the unauthorised works (i.e. the owner of the building or professional agent and contractor/s).   In addition, the Council can also take listed building enforcement action to ensure that works are carried out to restore the building to its former state or otherwise alleviate the effect of the unauthorised works.

Are there other resources available to me?

Listed below are a the website addresses of organisations involved in the preservation of the historic environment.


Please note that these website addresses are given for information purposes only, and do not imply any endorsement of the website supplier or the content of these external sites, and the Council carries no responsibility for the accuracy of any information on the websites concerned.

Conservation Areas

Section 69 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 provides for Malvern Hills District Council to designate "areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance" as Conservation Areas.

The effect of designation is to give the council powers to control the demolition of non-listed buildings, and the felling, lopping or topping of trees must be the subject of prior notification. There is no right of appeal against designation.

These regulations aim to protect the character of the area, but successful conservation is a positive mixture of preservation, conversion and sympathetic new development and so all local authorities must from time to time review their designated conservation areas, to make sure that their controls are still effective.

There are 21 Conservation Areas within the Malvern Hills district. 

The conservation section has embarked upon a programme of conservation area appraisals and management strategies including a review of the boundaries. 

Every local authority is obliged to undertake this work under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.   

Find out more about conservation area appraisals.

Useful resources

Please note that these website addresses are given for information purposes only, and do not imply any endorsement of the website supplier or the content of these external sites, and the council carries no responsibility for the accuracy of any information on the websites concerned.

Historic Parks and Gardens

English Heritage is responsible for the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.

Within the Malvern Hill District there are six parks which are included in the Register:

  • Abberley Hall Grade II
  • Croome Court Grade I
  • Pirton Park Grade II
  • Madresfield Court Grade II*
  • Kyre Park Grade II 
  • Witley Court Grade II*

For further information please contact the Conservation Team.