A listed building 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. Such buildings cannot be demolished, extended or altered without special permission from the local planning authority. 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. Although most structures appearing on the lists are buildings, other structures such as bridges, monuments, sculptures and war memorials are also included.
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