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Thank you for sharing this interesting article on historic buildings. In fact, it is heart-breaking to see this historically important building is severely damaged by fire!

In the UK, we have a strong emphasis on preserving our historic buildings and places. These old buildings reflect the time they were built and form part of the history that characterise many cities in the UK. To preserve our cultural heritage, the government has placed measures and legislation in place to protect these heritage assets. The table below summarises the number of destinations across the country:

Heritage Designations in the UK (Historic England, 2019; Taylor, 2012)

Scheduled monuments and buildings which are listed or in conservation areas are protected by law. Certain changes and works without the necessary consent are a criminal offence. While there are other destinations that carry no additional protection, any developments on these areas may require to take their significance into account. This includes the registered battlefields, parks and gardens etc.

Before: Westgate House Adjacent to Grade II Listed Union Room (Morton, 2016)

Furthermore, a development that is adjacent or surrounding the heritage assets should take into account the setting, character and the significance of the heritage assets. There are plenty of examples in the past that would remind us of how new development could seriously harm the heritage assets. One example would be the Westgate House Newcastle (now demolished), which was directly adjacent to a number of listed buildings and was once voted as the ugliest building in the country (Morton, 2016).

After: Vita Student Adjacent to Grade II Listed Union Room (Select Property, 2016)

Good development could enhance and complement heritage designations, whereas there are also a lot of ways to bring historic buildings back into use. By doing so, this would ensure future generations can benefit from it for years to come.


References:

Historic England (2019) Search The List. Available at: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/ (Accessed: 10 May 2019).

Morton, D. (2016) Newcastle’s Westgate House. Available at: https://i2-prod.chroniclelive.co.uk/incoming/article11971781.ece/ALTERNATES/s810/Westgate-House-once-voted-among-Englands-ugliest-buildings-next-to-the-Union-Rooms-in-Newcastle-c.jpg (Accessed: 10 May 2019).

Select Property (2014) Vita Students Newcastle. Available at: https://www.selectproperty.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Westgate-ext.jpg (Accessed: 10 May 2019).

Taylor, J. (2012) Heritage Protection in the UK. Available at: http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/heritage-summary/heritage-summary.htm (Accessed: 10 May 2019).

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School of Architecture
Planning and Landscape
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear, NE1 7RU

Tel: 0191 208 6509

Email: nicola.rutherford@ncl.ac.uk


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