What are Local Heritage Assets?
Assets on local heritage lists, also known as local listing, are not protected in the same way as listed buildings but can be afforded protection through the planning system as 'non-designated heritage assets'. These lists are maintained and managed by the boroughs and districts, and can include any building, monument, site, place, area or landscape which has heritage significance but is not recognised by another designation.
More detail on local heritage assets can be found in Historic England's advice note 'Local Heritage Listing: Identifying and Conserving Local Heritage'.
What is the Local Heritage List Project?
As part of the Government's 'Build Back Better' initiative, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (now the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) in association with Historic England provided funding to 22 areas to develop local heritage asset lists. Surrey was one of the areas to have received this funding.
Over the past year, a Surrey County Council-based project team has been working with the following boroughs and districts to produce a new or updated local heritage asset list ('local lists') for their area:
- Epsom and Ewell
- Mole Valley
- Surrey Heath
These lists will include those assets most valued by their local communities. Local lists have traditionally focused mainly on buildings, but there is an increasing recognition that local heritage encompasses far more than just buildings and new lists will include all types of features and places.
Once adopted, the lists will be used to inform the planning process and guide future decisions around the use and custodianship of local heritage assets. The information captured as part of this project will also be added to the Surrey Historic Environment Record (HER) managed and maintained by Surrey County Council.
The Surrey boroughs not taking part in this project either have up to date local lists or are carrying out their own reviews. Heritage assets in these areas have not been nominated or assessed as part of this project.
The project has identified a number of assets which may be worthy of statutory listing. These will be referred to Historic England under its partner project, Local to Statutory.
What happens next?
As part of this project, we asked people to nominate buildings, features, places and designed landscapes they felt made a significant contribution to their local environment through their heritage interest. This took place over October and November 2021, and the response was overwhelming. Over 900 heritage assets were nominated by residents and local groups across the six participating boroughs and districts.
Each nominated asset has now been assessed against the selection criteria, to decide whether it qualifies for inclusion on the local list. As well as the nominated assets, those assets already on district and borough local lists have also been reviewed. Draft lists have been provided to all participating districts and boroughs, and these will be taken through their own consultation and approval processes during the course of 2023. On completion of this work, it is anticipated that each local list will be adopted by its respective council to inform and guide future planning decisions.
Surrey County Council's involvement in this project has now come to an end, and anyone interested in following the progress of the local lists will need to refer to the respective district and boroughs' websites as follows:
Thank you for your interest and participation in this project.