There is increasing recognition that built heritage is no limited to solely nationally important buildings/structures. Locally, many buildings, both individually and collectively, add diversity to an areas character.
Many of these reflect local building styles and materials, or the influence of owners, architects and builders whose individual style and characteristics are peculiar to one area. They contribute enormously to ‘local distinctiveness’ and without them the special interest of an area can be greatly diminished.
Why produce a local register?
The Register of Buildings of Local Interest is intended to recognise these buildings/structures so that they can be properly considered when development proposal are submitted that affect them.
Whilst currently there is no legislation for locally listed buildings, the Draft Heritage Bill published in April 2008, recognises the importance of special local interest. Within the National Planning Policy Framework, there is an expectation for LPAs to identify heritage assets of local significance.
What does it mean?
- Inclusion on the Local Register does not change the existing planning controls that apply to the building/structure already;
- The Local Register supports efforts to preserve the character and appearance of the buildings/structures that are included on it;
- It enables the architectural or historic significance of these buildings/structures to be properly considered against development proposal;
- It provides clarity to owners, the local community, developers and planning officers, so that they are aware of the interest of a building/structure as early as possible;
- Unless a building/structure is listed or within a conservation area, there is no control, under current legislation, over its demolition;
- The Local Register backs up existing and emerging planning policy and guidance, adding weight to the consideration already given to the preservation of the historic environment
The Council is working closely with local communities, through Parish Councils to assist in the production of a Local Register. The purpose of the register is to celebrate local distinctiveness, help safeguard important buildings and ensure that repairs, alterations and extensions are sympathetic.
How will the register be established?
The Council has sought nominations for the Local Register through a period of public consultation. It is then proposed to compile a draft index from survey work and nominations received.
Before any building is included on the draft register the Council will notify owners and/or residents of nominated buildings/structures of its intentions and will consider any representations received about the proposal. Following consultation with owners and/or residents the draft register will be put to the Council’s Development and Transport Committee for adoption as part of a Supplementary Planning Document.
Implications for owners
The Buildings of Local Interest Register identifies buildings and structures so that they can be given protection through the planning process. A building or structure on the Local Register does NOT have any additional statutory protection. However, a local register entry would be a material consideration when determining planning applications to ensure that any change to the building did not harm its special interest. Planning policy encourages the retention and protection of the special character of ‘local register’ buildings. Any external alterations should respect the character of the building. There will be a presumption against the demolition of a ‘Locally Registered’ building or structure.