LETTER:Listed buildings are not to be `pickled in aspic'
Monday 13 March 1995
Sir: As one of the half-million owners of listed buildings in this country, a historic building consultant for both the private and public sector and a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute's Conservation Panel, I did not recognise Teresa Gorman's version (Another View; "Who'd own a listed home?", 10 March) of the operation of our listed building legislation as the thing that I work with every day.
The vast majority of domestic listed building consent applications are approved. The success rate is even higher where authorities have conservation officers and their advice is sought and taken. Unfortunately many people do carry out unauthorised works to listed buildings either deliberately or accidentally. Action is normally only taken in two situations: the worst examples of breaches of the legislation and in response to complaints by members of the public. A disagreement with the views of a local authority is not a justification for a free-for-all with buildings which are part of our history.
Recent government advice makes it quite clear that the historic built environment should not be pickled in aspic. Alterations or even the demolition of listed buildings are not forbidden. There must, however, be a process against which change can be evaluated. As with any system involving subjective judgements, there are often differences of opinion. That many beautiful buildings disappeared in the Fifties without proper consideration is one of the reasons why there is public support for a system of control of the historic built environment.
Most chartered surveyors consider that despite Teresa Gorman's spine- chilling narrative, the words "listed building'' are seen as a positive selling feature and they are usually included in sales particulars. Mrs Gorman's "the bogey man will get you" version of our listed building legislation is thankfully not shared by the general public who respect the old and familiar.
Shipley, West Yorkshire
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...