Policy HER 2: Heritage at risk
- New development should identify specific opportunities where heritage assets have been identified as being at risk, and make provision to secure their future through repair and/or re-use.
- Applications for the positive reuse of heritage assets will be supported.
- Where there is evidence of deliberate neglect of and/or damage to a heritage asset the deteriorated state of that asset will not be taken into consideration when making a decision on a development proposal.
- Where a development site contains a listed building(s) identified as being at risk, proposals should be phased and secured by legal agreement to ensure its/their repair and re-use as early as possible in the development process. Prior to new development being substantially complete or fully occupied, works required to secure the listed building should be carried out in full.
5.6 Heritage assets are a finite resource and are irreplaceable. Heritage assets can fall into disrepair and become at risk through neglect, decay or other threats. Where heritage assets are at risk, it will be important to take advantage of opportunities for their repair and re-use.
5.7 New development should positively address heritage assets at risk. The council will monitor buildings and other heritage assets at risk through neglect, decay or other threats proactively seeking solutions for assets at risk through:
- discussions with owners;
- a positive approach to development schemes that would safeguard the future of a heritage asset at risk; and
- as a last resort, using its statutory powers.
5.8 Where a listed building is considered to be at risk, based on the evidence in the Heritage At Risk Register held by Historic England and any local list, any development proposal relating to it must include proposals to secure the future of the listed building. Every site and building will differ in its circumstances, however, there should be a legally binding mechanism put in place in all cases to secure the repairs to the listed building(s). The level of works to secure a listed building and prevent that building from being at risk will vary and each case will need to be considered individually.
5.9 Heritage assets make a vital contribution to the environment and historic context of the borough. Any application involving the loss of a heritage asset must be supported by an adequate structural engineer’s report as well as a report on the economic feasibility of repair and/or conversion instead of demolition. These reports should not take into account the personal circumstances of the owner, deliberate neglect or land value.
5.10 The council is currently undertaking a review of all listed buildings, which will form the evidence base for the Cheshire East Buildings at Risk Register. This will include a strategy for how the council will proactively manage listed buildings. This list will be reviewed periodically, and the status of a building could change as new information about its condition becomes available.
5.11 For the avoidance of doubt, this policy does not allow for ‘enabling development’ that would usually be considered harmful. However, any resulting benefits from enabling development that outweigh harm may be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.
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