Since the foundation of the SPAB in 1877, casework, campaigning and advice have been at the centre of our work. Today in England and Wales, the Society has a statutory role in the secular planning system. As directed by the Secretary of State, the SPAB is one of six National Amenity Societies that must be notified by local planning authorities of all applications that involve the total or partial demolition of a listed building, giving us an opportunity to comment on the proposed scheme.

We have a similar role within the ecclesiastical consent systems operated by the religious denominations that are granted exemption from secular listed building controls.

Each of the National Amenity Societies concerned with the conservation of old buildings has particular interests and specialist knowledge in terms of architectural history. For this reason and due to our limited resources the SPAB concentrates on applications concerning buildings with fabric dating from 1720 or earlier.

Generally, we are unable to get involved in cases concerning:

  • structures post 1720
  • applications affecting buildings in conservation areas
  • applications affecting the setting of listed buildings
  • the implementation of other heritage controls
  • local planning policy issues.

Please read our Campaign Toolkit for more information on other sources of advice on these issues and other organisations that may be able to assist where we cannot.

Please note that our criteria for taking on casework in Scotland differ slightly. Visit the SPAB Scotland page for more information.


How to notify the SPAB of a relevant casework application

England and Wales

To notify us officially of an application or to request pre-application advice, please email

We aspire to log all relevant cases within 5 working days for our casework team's consideration. If you would like to check if your case has been received by the SPAB you can check our publicly accessible database

On the homepage click the SPAB icon to be taken to a search page. Here enter the details of your application and select ‘search’. Any relevant applications will be retrieved. Click the link to an application and if there is a green tick against the SPAB’s name in ‘notified organisations’ that means your application has been sent to the relevant caseworker for their consideration.



To notify us of an application in Scotland, please use this short form


How to alert us to a building at risk

We cannot take up all cases, however, if the fabric of an important historic building is threatened by neglect or proposals for significant alteration please use the following form to make an enquiry.

Recent Cases

This ‘at risk’ neglected building served as a public house as far back as the 18th century. The building's listing at Grade II describes it as 16th or 17th century. However internally there is evidence of much earlier origins, indicating that the front section of this house may be a medieval hall house, a rare surviving example in the area. We have submitted an application to Historic England that the listing be upgraded to Grade II*. We understand that the building has very recently been made weatherproof and hope that this indicates a future change in approach to the site.

This Grade II listed water mill on the River Test was devastated by fire in 2018. A significant part of the mill house was saved but most of the mill and barn were destroyed, and the turbine was badly damaged. Given the amount of evidence available showing the complex before the fire, the decision was made to fully repair the mill house on a like-for-like basis.  We commented on detailed plans for its repair and were delighted that traditional techniques and materials would be used and that a team of highly skilled craftspeople have been involved.

We strongly objected to several key aspects of a major re-ordering scheme for this medieval church, notably raising and covering the beautiful historic floor to install underfloor heating and create level access. We supported the Victorian Society in their objection to the proposed removal of all the high-quality pews and provided advice on the proposals for a servery and WC and works to the vestry and tower. We recently received a simplified scheme, which retains the existing historic floor and all but two of the historic pews.

How Casework Is Funded

The Society is grateful for the partial funding of its casework by Historic England under their National Capacity Building Grant, and Cadw.