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Can an Urn really be a Listed Building?
Your initial reaction to the question of whether a chattel such as an urn could be a listed building may be “No”. You may think that only a bricks and mortar property could be listed. If that’s the case, you would be wrong.
In a recent Court of Appeal decision it was held that any item (whether a building or chattel) will be a listed building if it features on the Listed Buildings Register.
In this case, two 18th century lead urns and limestone piers had been Grade II listed. The owner of the urns and piers did not know that they were listed and sold them at auction. As the urns and piers were listed buildings the owner should have sought listed building consent to remove them prior to selling them. By failing to do so, the Local Planning Authority (“LPA”) commenced enforcement action against the owner requesting that he replace the urns and piers. Unfortunately the urns were sold overseas and the owner of the listed building does not know the identity of the buyer or their location so is unable to comply with the LPA’s enforcement notice. As a result, the owner is likely to face prosecution.
To avoid falling into a similar situation, it is important that you check whether any of the property or chattels you own are listed. If you do own a listed building then you must seek listed building consent prior to demolishing, altering or extending it or, in the case of a chattel, selling it or moving it to another location.
If you require any advice or assistance with an application for listed building consent then get in touch with our team of planning solicitors on 01392 207020.