Re: Re: List of Protected Structures
I’ll be brief (still recovering from last night’s message:) ).
I’m afraid I’m very serious about the involvement of Councillors. And it does have some serious implications. One ‘hypothetical’ case: a mid-19th century Midlands hotel is suggested for inclusion, a councillor knows the owner and knows he’s thinking of knocking it to build a much bigger one (or the owner makes representations), he argues against it in the Council meeting on the basis that demolition and construction will being badly needed jobs to the area (or worse, on the grounds that ‘decentralisation’ to his town will require first class conference facilities), the other councillors think ‘What’s the difference between 242 Protected Structures and 243 PSs’ and so the building is not included. Then five years down the line ‘decentralisation’ is shelved indefinitely with only the basement and foundations built and the town is visually scarred.
Re Ratings: Anything of Local and above is considered our architectural heritage, but the Act provides that a PS must be of ‘special Architectural, Historical, A, A, S, S, S and T’ interest, so it’s Regional and above. (There’s a whole other debate about the meaning of the word ‘special’, but we’ll save that one.) In one case I know, a town council engaged the services of a consultant who prepared a full town survey, telling them ‘Local and above is your heritage, Regional and above should be PSs’ but they were so interested in the work that they ended up including quite a few of the Local buildings as PSs too. (Interesting aside- I wonder if this caused difficulty with the Local building owners? Perhaps they’d have a case for de-listing on the grounds that the national criteria [as established by the NIAH] had been bent?)
Re Experience: I was interviewing a senior archaeologist in the Environment and Heritage Service in NI a few months ago who pretty much confirmed that they see their years of experience as sufficient grounds for decision making.
ctesiphon: So thatâ€™s your call? What you say goes?
Archaeologist: Yes. Well, most of the time. And thatâ€™s what stands at appeal or at hearings of various kinds. We are the professional people who make the decisions and our viewâ€¦ The buck stops here.
Re ‘Blanket’ Systems: I don’t know of an international precedent. I think the reasoning behind the decision was in essence that either something is protected or it’s not. I agree- I think a grading system would help greatly, not least in that degrees of importance can equate to degrees of protection and degrees of funding.
So apparently that was the brief version. Back to bed with me now.