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01/11/2013

Listed buildings saved but costs rise

Durham Castle - listing buildings
The number of endangered listed buildings has fallen since 2012 but the cost of repairing them has increased, according to English Heritage.
 
The annual Heritage at Risk (HAR) survey found that there are now 5,700 grade I and II listed buildings at risk compared to 5,831 in 2012. 
 
However, the average difference between the cost of repair and the end value of buildings on the register now stands at £450,000, “making it more difficult to bring them back into use”.
 
A total of 15 per cent of listed buildings are thought to be beyond economic repair and will depend on public subsidy to survive.  
 
The HAR programme was launched in 2008 to monitor the overall state of England’s historic sites and pinpoints the sites at most risk of being lost as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development. It is updated every year and looks at 19 areas across the country. 
 
Key problem areas in the buildings surveyed by a team of volunteers were doors, windows, walls, gutters and other rainwater depositories. Approximately 6 per cent of buildings were vacant or not in use and 7 per cent were partly occupied. 
 
Some 45 per cent of the volunteers had little or no surveying experience but make an invaluable contribution to provide the right sort of help and advice to address the problems uncovered.
 
“We also hope to support councils to make more use of volunteers and to engage the increasing number of people who share our passion for the past and want to do something tangible to secure its future,” said an HAR spokesperson. 
 
Nearly nine out of ten local planning authorities took part in the survey of conservation areas. Participating councils have also been inspired to use the survey data in different ways to make a difference. West Lancashire has shared the data with police and fire services to make them aware of buildings most vulnerable to crime. 
 
Find out what’s at risk by searching the register here 
 

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