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Cutting the cost of listed-building planning eco-advice

Published: 17 March 2022

Householders of some of Westminster’s most historic buildings are to be offered reduced-price advice on how to make their homes eco-friendly.

Westminster City Council has slashed fees on initial consultations for homeowners of listed properties as part of its green agenda to tackle the Climate Emergency.

The move comes as soaring household heating bills are expected to renew interest in money-saving and environmentally-friendly measures.

These retrofit changes could transform the energy performance of thousands of homes.

With over 11,000 Grade I and II listed buildings across Westminster, improvements will make a big difference to the local authority’s efforts to cut harmful emissions.

As it stands emissions from buildings across the city account for 86% of the total, with households making up a hefty 15%.

So, decarbonising Westminster’s built environment will be the most significant challenge to overcome if the council is to successfully deliver its net zero 2040 ambitions. 

Under the new flat-fee structure householders looking for advice before carrying out costly full applications will pay just £300 including VAT.

The original pre-application fee was £1,224 for a listed building and £372 for advice on non-listed buildings.

It will mean that anyone who wants to make certain improvements to some of the borough’s oldest and most important buildings will save hundreds of pounds.

The works that new fees apply to are:

  • fitting of solar panels
  • installation of heat pumps
  • window glazing
  • green roofs

The reduced fees do not apply to larger renovations.

Cllr Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning, said:

We are seeing an ever growing need to save energy and reduce the damage to the environment.

People may be surprised to learn that our homes are far more polluting than our cars, as gas boilers, release carbon dioxide (CO2) – a ‘greenhouse gas’ that contributes to climate change.

Not only that, but as recent events have also shown, energy prices are volatile so it makes financial sense to do all we can to cut bills.

A focus on retaining and refurbishing our much-loved listed housing stock has a powerful role to play in response to the climate emergency.

This new fee structure offering people written advice from a planning officer will hopefully encourage more people to consider making these vital improvements.

Find out more about the service and get information:

We are also offering help and support for residents who are struggling with increases in energy costs.