Free preliminary advice on the care, repair and renovation of listed buildings is available to Ribble Valley residents.
And residents are warned that putting their stamp on listed buildings without permission can cost them dearly or land them in jail.
Anyone buying a listed building is acquiring a piece of the country’s national heritage, as well as a new home, so it’s vital they understand what they are taking on before they start knocking it about.
Carrying out unauthorised alterations to a listed building is a criminal offence that can lead to costly restoration work, court fines and even imprisonment.
But help is at hand thanks to free preliminary advice from Ribble Valley Borough Council on the care, repair and restoration of listed buildings.
Sue Bibby, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning and development committee, said: “Historic buildings are an important aspect of the character and appearance of our towns, villages and countryside.
“Conservationists and planners have a duty to protect the built environment and if you look around Ribble Valley you can see just what a good job they have been doing.
“Well-informed advice is a premium and the key is to work with planners from the outset, which can save a lot of heartache and expense down the line. Our officers are just a phone call away.”
Unauthorised work to a listed building is a criminal offence that can result in costly remedial work to restore the building, as well as fines of up to £20,000 and six months in jail.
The free advice is also available to workmen who have been asked to undertake work on what they suspect might be a listed building.
There are 1,019 listed buildings in Ribble Valley, the second highest number in Lancashire, of which 18 are Grade I listed.
Further details are available from Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111.