A listed building, in the United Kingdom, is a building that has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. It is a widely used status, applied to around half a million buildings. The statutory body maintaining the list in England is English Heritage; Cadw (The Historic Environment Service of the Welsh Government) in Wales; Historic Scotland in Scotland; and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) in Northern Ireland.
The term has also been used in the Republic of Ireland, where buildings are surveyed for the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage in accordance with the country's obligations under the Granada Convention. However, the preferred term in Ireland is protected structure.
A listed building may not be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from the local planning authority, which typically consults the relevant central government agency, particularly for significant alterations to the more notable listed buildings. In England and Wales, a national amenity society must be notified of any work to a listed building which involves any element of demolition.
Exemption from secular listed building control is provided for some buildings in current use for worship, but only in cases where the relevant religious organisation operates its own equivalent permissions procedure. Owners of listed buildings are, in some circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain them and can face criminal prosecution if they fail to do so or if they perform unauthorised alterations. When alterations are permitted, or when listed buildings are repaired or maintained, the owners are often compelled to use specific materials or techniques.
Although most structures appearing on the lists are buildings, other structures such as bridges, monuments, sculptures, war memorials, and even milestones and mileposts and The Beatles' Abbey Road pedestrian crossing are also listed. Ancient, military, and uninhabited structures, such as Stonehenge, are sometimes instead classified as scheduled monuments and protected by much older legislation whilst cultural landscapes such as parks and gardens are currently "listed" on a non-statutory basis. Slightly different systems operate in each area of the United Kingdom, though the basic principles of the listing remain the same.
More information on the Wikipedia page .