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 (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 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 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 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.
What happens next?
As part of this project, we have been asking people to nominate buildings, features, places and designed landscapes they feel make a significant contribution to their local environment through their heritage interest. This took place over October and November 2021, and the response has been overwhelming. Over 900 heritage assets have now been nominated by residents and local groups across the six participating boroughs and districts.
Nominations have now closed, and we are moving to the next stage of the project. Each nominated asset will be assessed against the selection criteria, to decide whether they qualify for inclusion on the local list. As well as the nominated assets, we will also be reviewing those assets already on district and borough local lists. This work will take a number of months. We are aiming to produce draft lists in the Spring/Early Summer of 2022, after which they will be consulted on. 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.
The team can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org should you have questions about any aspect of the project.
Thank you for your ongoing interest in this project.