Campaigning: Bishop Lynn's House, 18 Tuesday Market Place, King's Lynn, Norfolk

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We have strongly objected to proposals to add a penthouse onto an existing extension of a Grade II* listed building, which sits at the heart of this historic town. 

Behind the 18th-century façade of Bishop Lynn's House, lies a much older building with medieval cellars. The back wing of the building was demolished in 1975 and replaced with a modern extension, and it is to this the penthouse will be added. The drawings appear to show a structure that will tower above the roof of Bishop’s House when viewed from the front elevation in the marketplace. If this is indeed the case, then the impact will be to cause considerable harm to the heritage asset.


 Bishop’s Lynn House in 2008, public domain

However, we struggled to provide detailed advice on this application as the drawings do not provide sufficient detail and the ‘Design, Access and Heritage Statement’ ran to only half a page. We therefore suggested that the applicant commission a detailed heritage assessment by an experienced building historian which would describe the significance of the Grade II* listed building and assess the impact of the proposals.

We were surprised to see subsequently that the local authority has decided that a Listed Building Consent application was not required in this case. Extensions to listed buildings form part of the listed building and are subject to the same protection regime. This is the case even if the extension is added after the listing is made. Whilst the offices may be of little architectural or historic value, this does change how they should be treated within the planning system, and in any case the issue here is the potentially harmful impact of the proposals on the Grade II* listed building. We wrote to the Local Authority along these lines and hope they will reconsider their decision. 


Our small casework team wrote nearly 600 substantive responses to planning applications last year. Campaigning for old buildings is at the heart of what we do. Join as a member to support our work.

Further reading
Read our Knowledge Base article ‘Heritage Protection Legislation and Policy Explained’  

To find out more about the national information requirements for an application for listed building consent, visit the UK government's website


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