What are Local Heritage Assets?
Local heritage is an important part of our historic environment and plays a key role in building and reinforcing a sense of local character and distinctiveness.
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 (MHCLG) in association with Historic England has provided funding to 22 areas to develop local heritage asset lists. Surrey is one of the areas to have received this funding.
Over the next year, a Surrey County Council-based project team will be working with the following boroughs and districts to produce a new or updated local heritage asset list for their area:
- Epsom and Ewell
- Mole Valley
- Surrey Heath
This project is seeking to identify and include on lists 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. It is therefore hoped that when the nominations process opens in early October 2021 suggestions will come forward which 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 cannot be nominated as part of this project.
Any assets coming forward as part of this project which might be worthy of statutory listing or other form of national designation may be referred to Historic England, under its partner project, Local to Statutory.
How can I get involved in the Local Heritage List Project?
In early October 2021, we will be launching an online nominations process for assets to be included on new local heritage lists. These might be buildings, or structures such as statues, memorials, sculptures, walls or pieces of street furniture. Alternatively, they might be parks or gardens, or other examples of designed landscapes. They could also be features in the landscape, such as prehistoric trackways or field boundaries, or the visible remains of archaeological sites such as banks, ditches and walls. Heritage assets can take many forms and can be almost anything which gives an insight how communities and places functioned and provides us with a physical link to our past.
Nominations will then be assessed against a set of selection criteria, and draft lists compiled for each district which will be consulted on early next year. Once the lists have been approved, they will be used by the boroughs and districts to inform their planning decisions and the heritage assets on them will be added to the Surrey HER. We hope also that the lists and the information they contain will help asset owners to understand their heritage significance and look after them accordingly.
Thank you for your interest in this project, and we look forward to receiving your nominations.