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Buildings at risk as cuts bite at West's local councils

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 12, 2012

All Saints Tuckingmill is one of the listed buildings on the English Heritage At Risk Register, as are Little Trethewey Wesleyan Chapel, below right, Gladys Holman House, below left, and Devon and Exeter Institution, above right

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Heritage watchdogs have today unveiled a register of historical buildings facing neglect in the South West while appealing for help to add more to the list.

The English Heritage At Risk Register reveals that although eight Grade I and II* buildings have been saved across the region, a further 15 have been found to be in danger.

For the first time the organisation plans to expand the register by adding Grade II listed buildings facing ruin.

With 82,264 Grade II buildings in the South West, accounting for 91.9% of all listed buildings, Heritage chiefs say they need help assessing them.

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Andrew Vines, planning director for English Heritage in the South West, said Grade II listed buildings were the bulk of the South West's "heritage treasury."

He said: "When one of them is lost, it's as though someone has rubbed out a bit of the past – something that made your street or your village special will have gone.

"We need help from local authorities, national parks, heritage and community groups to find the most efficient way of conducting such an exercise. We're prepared to fund nine to 15 pilot surveys around the country.

"For local authorities hard-pressed by cuts or other groups who come forward, this means money to find out which buildings most need their scarce resources.

"It will help all parties involved, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grant-givers, to get rescues underway where nothing has been happening for years."

Grade II buildings known to be at risk include Harvey's Foundry, Hayle, west Cornwall, where 80% of the world's steam pumping engines used to be made.

Of the 15 new buildings added to the register, three Grade II* buildings are at the King Edward Mine in Troon, Camborne, west Cornwall.

It is the most complete surviving mine-head complex in the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage Site.

Eight of the 15 sites lie in Cornwall including Treffry Viaduct, Luxulyan near Bodmin, and Rosewarne House (Gladys Holman House), Camborne.

In Devon five made it onto the list including the former stables at Stover House, Stover near Newton Abbot, and Exeter's Devon and Exeter Institution.

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  • circles1  |  October 13 2012, 12:59PM

    @ nev, you're missing the point between preservation and conservation

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 13 2012, 12:50PM

    Well thankfully I managed to get all the repairs needed to keep the building from falling down completely, before it was listed. Yes it was listed after the repairs, done with modern methods. The group that came out to list the building said that they take into account the fact that a building would have evolved over the period from 1560 to the present time. They were just grateful that the vast majority of the building was still intact, including the rings where cattle would have been tied to on the ground floor. The rings on the inside of the house where a rope ladder would have hung from. Also the hooks inside the chimney where hams would have been smoked. Just as well some people aren't so short-sighted otherwise I fear my present house which is also liable to a listing being place on it, might also have fallen down by now!!!!

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  • Nevman  |  October 13 2012, 12:20PM

    If you don't like the associated cost of maintaining a listed building, don't take on the responsibility for one. What you're both proposing is short-sighted and ultimately counter-productive, as modern building methods tend to be incompatible with old structures and are usually intended only for a lifespan of a couple of decades, leading to further maintenance headaches in years to come. Why do you think English Heritage has these rules? To protect these irreplaceable buildings from short-cutters like you.

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  • 2ladybugs  |  October 12 2012, 9:29AM

    I quite agree with Sue. It's the red tape of actually being allowed to restore/improve some of these buildings. Whilst it is admirable that 'old' techniques to repair many of these buildings is the preferred method it is also a)difficult to find the craftspeople who have the knowledge for the repairs and b)the cost is often extortionate. Buildings should be allowed to evolve, not necessarily by changing the look of the place but by using modern materials. If the buildings need additions to make them more usable then build them with modern materials albeit sympathetically. Having owned a listed building I know what hoops have to be jumped through to stop the place falling down.

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  • Sue200  |  October 12 2012, 8:45AM

    And how many of these buildings could be restored if English Heritage cut their red tape and stopped putting obstacles in the way of people who have the way-with-all and finances to restore the buildings? English Heritage seem to have themselves to blame when buildings fall into total ruin because they have blocked development. The majority of these buildings are preserved for the nation because of their build of specific interest. In their day the buildings were built with the technology and technique of the builders then. It is 2012 and technology and building methods have moved on. If these buildings are to be saved then English Heritage has to be more flexible.

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