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Gerry, I totally sympathise. I'm pretty sure ours is cement render but we can't afford to replace it ATM but I do worry about the impact on the house. I must admit I would think very hard about buying a listed property again. I was part of a local working group trying to protect the fabric of our street, which is a Conservation Area, as we have a few listed buildings that have fallen into disrepair, alterations have been made which do not sit with the streetscape etc etc. Our street has houses dating back to the 1400's which has a weight limit on the road and yet we have double decker buses and lorries trundling up and down all day which causes movement in houses and makes windows and paintwork dirty and deteriorate very quickly so traffic is a major issue plus the actual speed limit with efforts to having it reduced failing thus far..

i know the Listed Property Owners club have been campaigning for quite some time to both streamline the LBC process, which costs the councils millons a year in admin, and also have the VAT on repair and maintenance reduced as a result of the VAT exemption being removed a few years ago. Let's hope they have some luck as it can be very offputting for potential owners which is a huge shame let alone the impact on the buildings.

I don't know what it's like in other areas but the LPA has statutory duties and I know they're failing in our area although I appreciate there have been government cuts. It would also be nice to be able to get hold of someone in under 3 months although thankfully I now have the details of the local Historic building consultant!

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Saad & Umair
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Norren Bird

Extremely archaic bureaucratic process which benefits no-one. I once lived in a conservation area and it took 9 months to obtain planning permission for a stone extension on our barn conversion. We were not idiots - we researched our materials carefully and the project eventually cost £50k including 4 tonnes of Yorkshire stone for the roof. I make no apologies when I say that the council employees are not qualified or experienced enough to make sensible decisions - no doubt they have their own red tape to tie themselves up with. It was farcical and expensive, and we had to sit in on a council hearing with a dozen other applicants all equally as hacked off as us. One applicant was a farmer who wished to erect a building for his livestock- this was rural Lancashire - hardly the employment hotspot! I was in tears as was another applicant. The finished result was stunning - but my husband was made redundant on the day we finally completed it and we had to move anyway. This was probably 8 years ago and the ferocity of my feelings about this subject has not lessened! Good look to everyone going through this process.


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