NHPP Activity 5A1 Strategic Designation Programme
Work carried out 2011-2015 concerned with moving towards making more of our national designation work, such as listing and scheduling to protect our most significant heritage, part of efficient strategic programmes based on themes or areas. This work formed part of the National Heritage Protection Plan, and was strongly informed by thematic research carried out in other areas of the plan.
Scope of the activity
This activity aimed to move towards a greater proportion of our national designation work being strategic rather than responsive. This will enable us to deploy our limited resources where they are most needed: usually where threat is most urgent or where we can appropriately prevent a future threat.
Projects in this activity
There were two core areas of work within this programme.
- The first covers national designation assessments, which improved our understanding of specific elements of our heritage gathered through projects in NHPP Measures 3 (identifying) and 4 (assessing character and significance).
- Secondly we needed to respond effectively to external initiatives that demand priority action, for example as a result of redevelopment. This involved working in partnership with large scale landowners or through local Defined Area Surveys (see below).
We worked on a number of strategic themed projects including:
- Marine assets: early ships and boats.
- Later 20th Century Heritage - post-war private houses, post-war commercial offices, public art and education buildings (schools and universities).
- Public, Civil and communal buildings, in particular public libraries and prisons.
- Places of worship- Roman Catholic churches in the diocese of Shrewsbury, Brentwood and Southwark.
- Transport and Communications- Signal Box project.
- 20th Century Military Heritage Cold War sites and Defence Estates disposals.
- War memorials.
Through external initiatives we have identified a number of potential areas for partnership working with large landowners. For example we worked with Network Rail on assessments of key sites along the Great Western Railway and of historic signal boxes. We also worked with them on the Midland Mainline project.
In addition to these national, strategic projects, our Designation territory teams identified and undertook area-based designation assessments. These Defined Area Surveys (DAS) aimed to review designations within an area that faces particular redevelopment pressure and where the designation base did not adequately reflect the identified significance of the place.
Our DAS projects included reviews of:
- Lancashire mills.
- Rock art in the North-East.
- River Aire catchment bridges.
- Listings in Rochdale and Louth.
- West Yorkshire mills and archaeological sites.
- Deserted medieval settlements in Northampton.
- Rural schools in Norfolk. Arts and Crafts houses in Minchampton.
- Birmingham Pubs.
- Chatterley Whitfield Colliery.
- Archaeological sites in West Wiltshire and North Devon.
We responded to requests for such work from local planning authority colleagues and communities.
Balancing our designation work
The findings of projects in Measure 3 and Measure 4 will generated a number of designation assessments so we are developed a prioritised plan to balance this strategic work with our other commitments.
For key examples of the designations achieved through both our strategic and responsive work over the plan period , see the designation yearbooks below.
Expected protection results
This activity will allow for designation resources to be targeted at the most significant heritage assets through a planned strategic programme of work and will ensure prioritised follow-through on the understanding generated through Measures 3 and 4 to provide better protection for the historic environment.
Also of interest...
Find out about listed buildings and other protected sites, and search the National Heritage List for England (NHLE).