To consider the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance, (copy enclosed).
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Strategy, Performance and Governance seeking approval of the Maldon District Heritage at Risk Register 2022 (Appendix 1 to the report) for publication.
The report highlighted the work undertaken to the Register and it was noted that having an up-to-date Heritage at Risk Register which highlighted and promoted the Districts most vulnerable heritage assets was an essential tool in meeting the Council’s objective of ‘safeguarding, enhancing and promoting the historic environment’.
The Chairman put the recommendation as set out in the report to the Committee. This was duly seconded.
Councillor M F L Durham declared a non-pecuniary interest regarding this item of business and specifically the trestle bridge at Wickham Bishops as this was owned by Essex County Council of which he was a Member.
Members thanked the Conservation and Heritage Specialist for his detailed report and in response to questions raised, the following additional information was provided:
· The Council was in regular contact with Essex County Council regarding the trestle viaduct at Wickham Bishops and Members were advised that the County Council had recently commissioned a condition survey and repair schedule for the structure. It was noted that this was a scheduled monument and nothing could be done to it without permission from Historic England.
· It was noted that the addition of a building onto the Heritage at Risk Register did not add any restrictions to it, it just highlighted it as a building to keep an eye on.
· In response to a specific comment regarding barns within the district and conversion it was noted that there had not been any barns added to the list and sometimes conversion of a barn was the only way for a building to survive for the future.
· Members were advised that the Council’s Heritage Policy D3 of the Local Plan committed the Council to keeping an up-to-date heritage risk register and monitoring historic buildings, as well as encouraging their maintenance and conservation.
· The Officer explained that the Local Authority had powers of enforcement o arrest deterioration, although always a last resort and the Council would work to resolve such issues through negotiation and encouragement.
· Concern was raised regarding the Burnham-on-Crouch Cemetery Chapel and it was requested if repair of its roof could be made a priority along with the possibility of creating a long term project to bring it back into use. In response the Director of Service Delivery advised that he was happy to carry out a review of the Cemetery. He informed Members that Officers would work with the Conservation and Heritage Specialist to look at some options which would be brought back to the Committee.
· The bombing range observation tower at Bradwell was in private ownership, but the Bradwell Bay Preservation Group had met with the owner who seemed open to restoration. The Control Tower had been added to the Risk Register because if the power station at Bradwell went ahead this would face destruction.
The Chairman thanked the Officer for his report and put the proposal set out in the report which was duly agreed by agreed.
RESOLVED that the publication of the Maldon District Heritage at Risk Register 2022 be approved.