Heritage assets at risk
English Heritage has dealt with the issue of Heritage at Risk since 1998. Initially dealing with Grade I and II* Listed Buildings at Risk, the organisation now take an interest in Listed places of worship, Scheduled Ancient Monuments, Registered Parks and Gardens, Registered Battlefields, Protected Wreck Sites and Conservation Areas. Local authorities are encouraged to identify heritage assets which, whilst not included on the register published by English Heritage, may be at risk of loss or decay.
A heritage asset is ‘a building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. Heritage asset includes designated heritage assets (such as listed buildings) and undesignated assets such as those identified by the local planning authority (including locally listed properties)’.
The district council is committed to the protection of all types of heritage assets, and is therefore in the process of preparing a Heritage Assets at Risk Register. The register will include Grade II Listed Buildings and locally designated heritage assets such Locally Listed Structures and important unlisted buildings in conservation areas.
Inclusion of Assets on the Register
To be included in the register, buildings, monuments or structures need to exhibit a combination of the following factors:
- a degree of structural deterioration.
- be vacant or unsecured
English Heritage guidance will be used in the preparation of the register. Buildings will be prioritised on a scale of A to F; A being the highest priority at immediate risk of further rapid deterioration and F the lowest, where a repair scheme is in progress and an end use has been secured. It is important to note that inclusion on the list is not a criticism, but an indication that works are needed to secure the asset for future generations.
In addition to preparing the register, the council is also working on a Heritage Assets at Risk Strategy which will identify methods for bringing those assets up to an acceptable condition or back into use. Once completed, both the Heritage Assets at Risk register and strategy will be placed on the Councils website. The intention is that the register will be reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that the information contained within it is accurate.
If you are aware of an asset that you consider should be included within the council’s register please contact the Council’s Conservation Officer using the contact details below. It would be helpful if you are able to provide some basic information regarding the property, namely:
- Property name/number
- Street name
- Any other information that you are able to provide
English Heritage has produced a useful guidance note for owners of vacant historic buildings which explain temporary uses, maintenance and mothballing. A summary document has also been prepared which can be located on the English Heritage website.
How to tackle a Heritage Asset at Risk?
If you are interested in tackling a heritage asset which is at risk, it is advisable to contact the Council’s Conservation Officer in the first instance. In addition, SAVE Britain's Heritage ( SAVE ) provides advice on how to set up a campaign or action group to save a local historic building. Whilst the Architectural Heritage Fund ( AHF ) has information on Building Preservation Trusts.
Further information can be sought by contacting the Councils Conservation officer via email to email@example.com, or phone: 01903 737500, or write to the Conservation Officer at the address at the foot of this page.