Cambridgeshire residents are being asked for their views on which local buildings, structures, archaeological sites and landscapes they value, and feel are important to the character of their local areas, as part of a new Local Heritage Listing project.
For many years the national listing system has recognised buildings of national importance, by designating buildings as grade 1, 2* and 2. Local Heritage Lists aim to identify buildings and heritage assets which, whilst not meeting the national criteria, are important at a local level. The Local Heritage List project is a chance for local residents to have their say and help protect Cambridgeshire’s local heritage and we would really appreciate your support in raising awareness and encouraging community involvement in the project.
The project received funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (now the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) which invited councils in England to create pilot projects for Local Heritage Lists in their areas. Cambridgeshire’s joint bid was one of the 22 successful projects to secure funding.
Cambridgeshire County Council and each of the five District Councils: Cambridge City Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council are collaborating to create their own local lists of heritage assets that are important to the people living in their communities.
Cambridgeshire has many locally important heritage assets, which are valued by residents and contribute positively to the county’s character and identity, have local historic associations, are local landmarks or are important to the local community.
These heritage assets, which may be buildings, archaeological remains, parks, gardens, or public works of art, sometimes have little or no protection, and over time these special places can be lost. By adding these heritage assets to Local Heritage Lists their local importance will be officially recognised in the planning process.
If a planning application is made that affects one of the buildings or structures included on the Local Heritage List, the local planning authority will have to take this into account when considering the application. While this does not provide the same degree of protection that is given to nationally listed buildings or structures, it should help to preserve the character and heritage of our local area.
A new website has been launched (https://local-heritage-list.org.uk/cambridgeshire) with guidance on how people can get involved in the initiative and nominate buildings and archaeological sites to be considered for the Local List, which will recognise their importance and help preserve them. The nominations will be considered by an assessment panel comprised of local project volunteers, and heritage professionals to check that they satisfy the criteria for selection. These selected candidates will be taken forward by the individual District Councils for adoption on to a Local List. Once adopted these Lists will be published on this project website and each of the District Council’s websites.
We are really keen to find out which local heritage assets people think are important and in particular to hear from a wide range of people from across the community. We would really appreciate your involvement in getting behind this project and helping to spread the word throughout the parish you represent. Perhaps your parish would be interested in gathering a group of people together to survey and put forward candidates from your parish? If you are developing a neighbourhood plan the information gathered would help feed into the process.
The newly appointed Project Officer, Jessica Johnston will also be out and about in the community encouraging people to get involved and running events to engage the wider public.
If you have any questions regarding the project please do not hesitate to contact Project Officer Jess Johnston firstname.lastname@example.org.