Victorian and Edwardian buildings are irreplaceable, cherished, diverse, beautiful, familiar and part of our everyday life. They contribute overwhelmingly to the character of places people love and places where people live. They belong to all of us. Their owners are really only custodians for future generations.
Our caseworkers are notified when a planning application is submitted that involves the demolition - partial or total, or alteration of a Victorian or Edwardian building. The caseworkers then offer their advice, objecting to plans that cause needless harm to a historic building.
We have a formal role in the planning system by virtue of the Secretary of State's Arrangements for handling heritage applications Direction 2015. Under this Direction we must be notified of all applications for Listed Building Consent that involve an element of demolition. When determining applications, local planning authorities must take our response into account, but they are not obliged to follow our recommendations. We also have a formal role in the various listed building control procedures set up by those Christian denominations which have chosen to retain their exemption from normal listed building regulations.
We do not attempt to comment on every notification we receive. Instead, we respond when we consider that the proposals are damaging to the historic character of the property concerned, and where our expert input might result in a less destructive outcome. Our responses highlight the historic and architectural importance of each site and explain in what way the proposals are detrimental. We bring the experience of our architectural advisers, our buildings committees and other advisers to bear on each case to deliver considered responses which draw on an exceptional breadth of knowledge.
Victorian and Edwardian buildings are part of our collective memory, and central to how we see ourselves as individuals, communities and as a nation. When decisions are taken which affect their future, the debate must be open and informed.
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