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Saturday, 22 January 2011

Local Heritage Assets in Rochford and Executive Decision Making


The Council assesses buildings in the District for their architectural merit, affording them the title "Local Heritage Asset" where appropriate. In a sense it's a localised version of the National Listed Building status system, although the protection provided is not so strong.

The categorizations are recorded in the "Local List Supplementary Planning Document", you can access it by clicking on the title of this post, but be warned it's 13Mb in size. If you have any problems, you can also follow this link to the Council's website - you need to select the document attaching to the 17th January meeting http://cmis.rochford.gov.uk/cmiswebpublic/CalendarEvents.aspx. I found it very interesting. Basically, a traffic light system has been used - green for LHA (Local Heritage Asset) recommendation, or red, if not. There will always be some anomalies, for example the Shepherd & Dog (Ballards Gore), Victory Inn (Ashingdon), and Castle Pub (Little Wakering) have a similar architectural design, all were early twentieth century built road house type public houses, the first to cater for motorists by providing dedicated car parking. Yet some are given protection and others (The Castle) are not. Similarly, some of the buildings in Rochford's Market Square are given the green light, while others, of a similar age, are not.

It's very arbitrary, but when you consider the decision on "red" or "green" appears to be down to just two people, you can understand why.

It also appears to have been compiled in a bit of a rush, as it's a document that's required for the resumed core strategy hearings at the start of February.

Have a look at the document and see if you agree with the findings. If you do not, however, it's tough luck as it doesn't appear to have been widely publicised and there were only a few days to appeal from the date of publication, 19th January!

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