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De-listing when not listed?

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  • De-listing when not listed?


    I've got a slightly unusual question: we live in a 17th C cottage which has a new (early 1900) outbuilding. The cottage was listed (grade II) in mid 1980s for an old beam that's inside the cottage, though I appreciate it means everything in the building or within the curtilage is "listed". Interestingly, and while not conclusive, there is absolutely no mention in the listing of the outbuilding.

    The cottage and the outbuilding (which was turned into a separate dwelling mid-1990s) were separated through a certificate of lawfulness last year.

    The question is whether the outbuilding (now a separate dwelling etc) falls within the curtilage of the listed cottage. I suspect this is a "grey area" as there's lots of flakey case law out there.

    The Council say (they're trying to be awkward...) "the outbuilding isn't listed, but perhaps the land surrounding the outbuilding is listed and therefore you need to apply for listed building consent to do renovations".

    We have spoken to English Heritage on several occasions, and their view is that they are not at all interested in the outbuilding and they would not be interested in saying it's listed - primarily as the original section is from early 1900s and has undergone massive change over the last 80 years, so there's nothing old or special about it.

    We asked English Heritage if we can apply to de-list the outbuilding - but English Heritage replied (arguably rightly) that we cannot de-list something that is not listed...(!)

    So, we are caught in this trap - the Council saying it "might be listed" (though I don't see how the land can be listed but not the outbuilding, as that isn't my interpretation of the Act) but neither we nor EH think it is.

    We just want to get some certainty - one way or the other!

    Does anyone have any suggestions how we can sort this out - can EH give us a formal letter saying as far as they're concerned they're not interested and it's not likely to be listed?