Wednesday, October 17, 2012
City planners yesterday vowed to help protect more than 100 of Norwich’s unsung architectural gems from the bulldozer.
For four years volunteers from civic watchdog the Norwich Society have been pounding the city’s streets, to create a list of buildings and sites which need protecting.
And yesterday the 150-page dossier, called the local list, was presented by the society’s chairman to the city council.
Dismay at the demolition of the Earl of Leicester pub on Dereham Road, sparked the society into action.
The pub was knocked down in 2005 to make way for flats, but seven years down the line, the flats are yet to be built.
The list of 135 buildings from inside the city’s outer ring road, but outside conservation areas, includes County Hall, the Unthank Arms and Mile Cross Methodist church.
Presenting the document to Lord Mayor Ralph Gayton yesterday, the society’s chairman Peter Bentley said it was an “amazing achievement” and praised the work of the volunteers.
Mr Gayton said: “This is a worthy addition to all the information we have got. I am sure that the planners here will work on it.”
Although the heritage list will not have a legal standing, the council said it would be used when deciding planning applications.
Cabinet member for planning Bert Bremner said he hoped the work would make people more aware of the heritage they were passing by each day in the city.
“It will give weight to the buildings, but I think it is going to be a resource way beyond planning,” he said.
The sites chosen had to meet criteria drawn up with the help of the council’s conservation officers.
They were scored over five areas - townscape, architecture, history, community and condition, and had to score at least eight points across those criteria to make the final list.
City council conservation officer Chris Bennett, said he hoped the list would help protect Norwich’s historical buildings.
He said: “It will raise awareness of the buildings if there is a planning application.
“We can automatically look at the list and see if it is a heritage asset and look at other uses before demolition or redevelopment.”
To create the list, the society divided the city into six segments with each segment divided into ten sections. Ten volunteer teams of two people then took photos and scored the buildings.
The owners of all the buildings were written to by the society and the methods used were approved by English Heritage.
An expert panel then reviewed the list, changing scores and taking some buildings out.
The public were asked for comments about the chosen buildings during a photographic exhibition in The Forum in September last year.
- Do you have a story about Norwich’s heritage for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313.
- To see photos of some of the most notable buildings on the Norwich Society list, see the photo galleries at the top-right of this page.
- To see the List of Norwich’s unsung architectural gems visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/city-heritage