Watchdog wins award for efforts to protect Norwich’s heritage

Mary Ash, chairman of the Norwich Society, receives the society's Marsh award certificate and a cheq

Mary Ash, chairman of the Norwich Society, receives the society's Marsh award certificate and a cheque for 1,000 from Nick Carter of the Marsh Christian Trust at the Civic Voice AGM in Canterbury. - Credit: Alfred Adams

Norwich's civic watchdog has been honoured for its work to help protect buildings in the city.

The Norwich Society has been presented with an award from the Marsh Christian Trust for 'making an outstanding contribution to the civic movement.'

The award was given for the society's city-wide survey of buildings of local significance that are not listed by English Heritage and are not within conservation areas.

Mary Ash, Norwich Society chairman, said: 'We in the Norwich Society are absolutely delighted with the Marsh Award, and the very generous cheque. The award recognises the active role the Norwich Society plays in the conservation of the city's heritage. It is also a marvellous pat-on-the-back for all our hard-working volunteers and shows what can be achieved when people work together. The list is in use and having an effect.'

The project, led by Clare Currie and Mrs Ash, began when the Earl of Leicester pub in Bowthorpe Road was pulled down suddenly by its then owner.

Teams of volunteers from the Norwich Society, guided by English Heritage and city conservation guidelines, worked for several years to create a list of precious properties to be safeguarded, after which there was a public consultation and specialist review.

While being on the list is not binding when it comes to applications for planning permission and does not carry the same weight as an English Heritage listing, it does mean members of a planning committee would need to take the status into account when making decisions.

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More than 100 buildings, including pubs and schools, feature on the list along with parts of Norwich Prison, in Knox Road, County Hall, in Martineau Lane, and Zak's restaurant on Mousehold Heath.