Buildings and Monuments Committee
Our Building & Monuments Committee monitors applications for listed building and monument consents in Wiltshire. Any listed building consent application that indicates a loss or demolition of the setting, landscape, significant features, and above or below ground archaeology, has to be approved by the Wiltshire Council Planning Department. They use the internal Conservation officers and County archaeologists to advise them. Our advice is just that, and to make sure that our voice is heard it requires a delicate balance between securing the future of a structure and protecting our irreplaceable history.
Each year we review over 500 applications, looking in detail at around 80 and respond to the Planning Officer in over 50 cases. Sometimes these responses are in support of an application, sometimes suggesting alternative approaches as well as reasoned objections referring to the National Planning Policy Framework and other pieces of legislation; facts not emotions must prevail.
We have built up a good relationship with the local authority, English Heritage and the Council for British Archaeology which means we have a listening ear. When litigation is a possibility (as it recently was) we have to be sure of our facts and stance, both for the Society and the CBA. Most of our responses now influence the outcomes, and this bodes well for the future of Wiltshire’s heritage.
We have also made major reports into formation of legislation on listed buildings, the broader consultation documents concerning mineral extraction, core strategy and other proposals that impact on our buildings and monuments heritage. In the case of mineral extraction, we were able to get significant historic and archaeological sites removed from the quarrying extraction plan.
The committee meets at the Museum every 2 months (ad hoc meetings are called if any particular issues arise in between) and we are always interested to hear from members who have an interest in monuments and building archaeology. We review the applications on-line that are notified by the CBA or made available via the Wiltshire Council planning portal. Ability to read drawings, interrogate the planning portal and familiarisation with the heritage legislation affecting buildings and monuments is required. We need the enthusiasm and desire to investigate the changes being proposed to Wiltshire’s heritage assets, be they houses, industrial buildings, lumps, bumps or holes in the ground! As well as looking for people with expertise, we would welcome any who are willing to learn from and take part in the work of the committee. The aim is to make a positive contribution to the preservation and development of our cherished buildings and ancient monuments.
If you are interested then email firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman, Building & Monuments Committee
John Baumber interviewed by BBC Wiltshire about listed buildings and the work of the committee
The Transport Minister, Grant Shapps, has recently approved the proposal for a tunnel at Stonehenge, and some of our Members