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Listed buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments

A listed building is a building that has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest by Historic England. There are 1,563 listed buildings in the district protected for their architectural or historic value and there are three grades of listing:

  • Grade-I (Buildings of exceptional, national interest: 43 in the district, including St Briavels Castle, Flaxley Abbey, Severn Bridge and 23 churches)
  • Grade-II* (Buildings of outstanding interest nearer to Grade-I than Grade-II: 65 in the district, including fine examples of former country houses, churches, agricultural barns and industrial buildings)
  • Grade-II (Buildings of special interest: 1472 in the district, including a number of chartist cottages listed for both their historical and sociology interest)

Search the Historic England database for full listings.

Implications of listed building status

Listed building consent is required for alterations and extensions to listed buildings. Listing protects both the character and fabric of the listed building, and applies to the whole of the listed building inside and out, including later extensions. It can also apply to attached walls, and structures such as outbuildings whether attached to the main building or not. 

If you are unsure whether a building or adjoining or nearby fabric or structures will be treated as listed for planning purposes, please contact us.

Warning Unauthorised work to a listed building constitutes a criminal offence, and may lead to prosecution. There is no time limit and liability for unauthorised work may pass to new owners.

Design and Access Statements

In certain circumstances it may be necessary to submit a Design and Access statement as part of the Listed Building Consent application. For proposals affecting a listed building or its setting, you will need to demonstrate an understanding of the particular qualities and vulnerabilities associated with the building and its context, and to explain how these have been addressed in the proposals. The level of analysis should be commensurate with the significance of the listed building and its setting, and with the nature of the proposals. The statutory list entry provides a starting point so please view this on the Historic England website.

Note that significant changes to more important structures may need a considerable depth of analysis, including specialist input. Applications involving any of the following will generally require the council to consult with external bodies, such as Historic England:

  • A building listed at Grade I or II* or its setting
  • Part or complete demolition of any listed building
  • A Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM)

Listed buildings and renewable energy

If you are considering installing some form of microgeneration equipment on your listed building (such as solar panels) you may require the benefit of planning permission and Listed Building Consent. Please contact us to discuss your proposal.

Buildings at risk 

A building at risk is a statutorily listed building (or scheduled ancient monument) whose architectural and historic significance means that its loss would be locally, and sometimes nationally, detrimental. A building at risk is defined as one which, for whatever reason, is neglected.

There are currently 27 buildings or scheduled monuments identified in the Forest of Dean District Council’s Buildings at Risk report*. The document below is a full report of the survey work carried out between 2021 and 2022 of the Buildings at Risk and evaluates the physical condition of the building at the time of the survey, making recommendations/actions to be carried out to preserve the building for the future. The report highlights which of the buildings must remain on the risk register (24 buildings) and which have been successfully preserved to a sufficient level, so they are no longer at risk and can be removed from the list (3 buildings).

It is intended that a review of the Buildings at Risk Register will take place every 3 years.

To discuss the register, or to suggest buildings for future evaluation, email

*Also note that there may be more Buildings at Risk within the District, which have already been identified and assessed by Historic England and these can be found on the Historic England database: 

Heritage Character Assessment

The Heritage Character Assessment gives a broad overview of the wide range of heritage assets across the whole district (designated and non-designated), where they are and how they are unique to the area. The assessment should be used to provide an evidence base for making informed and balanced decisions on whether future development sites will have an impact (negative or positive) on our special historical features and the potential for enhancing and protecting these assets.

The assessment does not attempt to cover each and every heritage asset within the district, but seeks to identify and capture a flavour of the general history and characteristics which make this the Forest of Dean so special.

Scheduled Ancient Monuments

In the Forest of Dean there are 88 nationally important archaeological sites known as SAMs.

Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) is required before any works can be carried out which would have any material or visual impact upon a SAM or its setting. To find out more and apply visit the Historic England website.

Before submitting an application involving works to a SAM, you are strongly advised to discuss your proposals with both English Heritage and the County Archaeologist.