Our knowledge of building history, as well as our experience of Listing and of conservation planning, allows us to describe and assess the significance of ‘Heritage Assets’ and to prepare the documents needed to support applications for developments that affect Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas.
In December 2015 Storm Desmond caused considerable damage to stone bridges in Cumbria. The County Council subsequently carried out an extensive programme of works to repair the damage and to make the bridges more resilient to future flooding, using private contractors. Several were either listed buildings or scheduled ancient monuments, and we were initially employed by Coffey Construction Ltd to provide conservation advice for five bridges and to submit a listed building consent application to the Lake District National Park Authority. A later phase of the works was carried out by Eric Wright Ltd, and we were employed by them to submit scheduled monument consent and listed building consent applications for a further ten bridges.
When proposed developments may affect listed buildings or conservation areas applications for planning consent must usually include a heritage statement or heritage appraisal. We are regularly commissioned by architects and planning consultants to prepare suitable statements. A few examples are shown here.
British Rail closed most of the intermediate stations on the Settle to Carlisle Railway in the 1980s and sold many of the buildings, so when the line was saved and regular passenger services were reinstated the main station building and the Snow Huts at Dent Station were in private hands and in poor condition. It is the highest mainline station in England, in a spectacular position overlooking Dentdale. Our client has created a successful holiday let business there. We acted as planning agents for him, submitting a series of planning and listed building consent applications and a successful appeal for conversion of the snow huts and works to the cattle dock and a retaining wall.
Local planning authorities have a duty to designate areas of special architectural or historic interest as conservation areas. Current guidance recommends that they regularly review their conservation areas, prepare detailed character appraisals, and formulate proposals for their preservation and enhancement in consultation with local communities.
In late 2019 we were commissioned by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to prepare an appraisal of Askrigg, an attractive village in Wensleydale made famous as the location used as the fictional Darrowby in the television series ‘All Creatures Great and Small’.