Buildings at Risk
English Heritage has been collecting information on the condition of the country’s built heritage for over twenty years. It published the first national Buildings at Risk Register in 1998, now called the Heritage at Risk Register. Gloucester City Council produced its first register of buildings at risk in 2001. The register brings together information on all listed buildings (and scheduled monuments with substantial masonry remains) within the city which are known to be ‘at risk’ through neglect or decay, or are vulnerable to becoming so. The purpose of the register is to raise awareness of the heritage assets in the city which are considered to be at risk and the progress being made, if any, to get them back into a good state of repair.
Gloucester City is fortunate in having around 660 individual listed buildings. In July 2001, 50 listed buildings were identified as being ‘at risk’ or were vulnerable of becoming so. Some 30 of these original entries have since been removed from the register due to their future having been secured. However, there have subsequently been two complete re-surveys, the most recent being during the Spring/Summer of 2013, which has resulted in new buildings being added to the register. On the current register there are 26 buildings at risk and 17 vulnerable of becoming so.
How is it decided that a building is at risk?
Risk is generally defined by a combination of condition and occupancy. There are three categories: At Risk, Vulnerable and LowRisk/Not at Risk. As an example, if a property is assessed as being in a poor condition and has been vacant for some time then it will be classed as being At Risk; whereas if it is occupied then it will be classed as Vulnerable.
- Things to note about the register:
- It provides information on the statutory list grade (I, II* or II) of each building, whether it is also a scheduled monument and if it is located within a conservation area.
- It gives a brief description of the building, what the main problems are and how long it has been on the register.
- The inclusion of a building in the register does not necessarily mean it is for sale.
- Where ownership is described as ‘private’ the City Council cannot give out contact information without the owners consent.
- Inclusion in the register implies no criticism of the owners of the buildings, many of whom are actively seeking ways to secure the buildings future.
- Where owners are wilfully neglecting their buildings, the City Council has powers to require them to take measures to make the property ‘sound, secure & weathertight’. See Appendix 2 below.
The Buildings at Risk Register
The links below provide access to the current Buildings at Risk Register:
- Buildings at Risk
- Vulnerable Buildings
- Appendix 1 – Why are buildings listed?
- Appendix 2 – Powers available to Local Authorities in securing the preservation of built heritage.
Do I need further information?
The online register provides a snapshot of the situation as at February 2014. The City Council’s Conservation Projects Officer will be able to provide up-to-date information on the register, together with:
- Information on relevant legislation
- Advice on possible sources of financial assistance and grant aid
- Guidance on technical issues