Contributed by Dr Angela Drakakis-Smith
Some time ago, local authorities were tasked with drawing up a local list for those buildings and structures not in, and thus governed by, conservation area status. This was important given the scale and speed of development taking place in urban and rural areas. As we have found in Newcastle, some developers have no respect for the ‘old’ or for things that local communities may hold dear – the demolition of the stone bridge parapet in Thistleberry is a case in point. This is not helped by some councils having little care for their historical heritage and assets.
The Civic Society undertook a survey of all buildings not already listed in the town centre which were deemed worthy of care and protections and which would usefully be included on a local list. This was submitted to the conservation Officer at least a year ago. In a recent exchange asking about the progress of the local listing project the Civic Society was informed that ‘it was on the agenda’ and would be looked at, at some point in the future (ah there’s that future imperfect again!) However, that could just be too late to save some buildings and structures.
Thus every parish and town council is urged to draw up a list in consultation with residents as to which items they regard as important and worthy of retention within that community (and within reason) and to submit it as soon as possible to the Borough Council for attention. Be warned – list it or lose it!!