Contributed by Dr Angela Drakakis-Smith
The local list has now been drawn up. The purpose of the list is to ‘protect’ those buildings/structures which are not covered by the listed building or the conservation area criteria but which have historical interest and emotional value within a neighbourhood and should thus be protected in some way. Whilst this does not necessarily mean that they will be spared the demolition ball, consideration will have to be given should they become threatened.
About 100 buildings/structures were nominated approximately sixty four were selected: two in Audley; one in Betley; twenty in Keele; one in Kidsgrove; twenty seven in the town; and two in Whitmore.
Five criteria had to be met – authenticity( two marks max), architectural value (three marks max), historic association (two marks max), visual importance (two marks max), community value (one mark max). Any item scoring seven or above were placed on the list or so we were told. We were not informed what the total list of 100 comprised.
Whilst there was a suggestion of objectivity in that five criteria had to be met, clearly it seems that subjectivity overcame the panel when a choice had to be made between some items. Sadly, the stone bridge parapet wall on the A525 and the stone boundary wall of the old workhouse, both in Thistleberry, although nominated, were not selected. This raised several eyebrows considering their vulnerability and their historic provenance when compared with, say, the two iron sculptures outside Keele Village and on the bypass. Perhaps another criterion should have been included – vulnerability – given that the aim of the list is to protect that which is threatened.