Would you support a local listing of heritage buildings to offer greater protection from demolition and redevelopment?
CURRENT POLICY WORDING
DI1. CHARACTER BUILDINGS
The extension or alteration of any building displaying the characteristic local features typified by the examples in Appendix 1 of this Plan must not materially diminish the significant character of the building.
PROPOSED REVISED POLICY WORDING
DI1. CHARACTER BUILDINGS
The extension or alteration of any building identified at Appendix 1 of this Plan (The Local List) will be permitted unless the proposed change(s) would materially diminish the significant character of the building. Proposals must identify how the design would preserve or enhance the significant character of the building.
Under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), only statutorily designated assets such as those carrying English Heritage listing or buildings on a Local Authority Local or Heritage List enjoy guaranteed protection from demolition.
For all other buildings, the NPPF supports only the ‘preservation or enhancement’ of heritage assets, but this does not preclude demolition.
This is because the NPPF is based on an underlying principle of sustainable development. New buildings and land will always be needed. Most old buildings eventually become unfit for purpose over time and the costs, inneficiencies and practicalities of maintaining many old buildings means that replacement is inevitable and, sometimes, desirable.
For this reason, obtaining national statutory listing on most buildings is extremely difficult; the criteria are set very high and almost no buildings in Hoylake would qualify.
Nevertheless the original draft of the NDP policy DI1 proposed a local ‘listing’ which would support the preservation or enhancement of specifically identified buildings that were considered to contribute to the special identity of Hoylake.
Such a listing could be used to ‘protect’ those buildings from demolition, although it must be recognised that some buildings will simply not be sustainable over the long term. It may, in some instances, be better to replace the building with a new high quality building that is fit for purpose, energy efficient, well designed and will stand the test of time.
The examiner rejected the proposal to form a Local List, requiring that such a list must be produced in co-operation with the Local Authority and following English Heritage guidance for Local Listing.
This makes it likely that many of the buildings we included in our non statutory list, which remained in the current NDP as a guide only, may not qualify.
Nevertheless we think it may be beneficial to make a Local List in co-operation with WMBC and on the basis of English Heritage guidance, in order to offer greater protection to qualifying buildings.
In order to amend Policy DI1 in the next iteration of the NDP in 2020 we will need to:
- Consult with the wider public to establish the extent of support for such a proposal.
- Research English Heritage guidelines on Local Listing qualifying criteria.
- Identify buildings in Hoylake that would qualify.
- Work with WMNC to create a Local List for Hoylake.
- Establish a mechanism for ongoing monitoring of the qualifying features of buildings on the list and ensuring sustainability of the List.