Sunday 28 December 2014

Knowle relocation project: and the 'managed neglect' of valuable assets

This blog has already asked to what extent the District Council wishes to exploit its own assets:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: Honiton "up for sale"
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project ... and 'asset renovation'
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: "We’re digging into the opportunities to release assets and invest in assets to increase revenue streams."
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: getting the figures straight

Another question would be:
To what extent do councils neglect their own assets?
Stopping the Rot: English Heritage


A comment posted in the last couple of days on independent Cllr Claire Wright's blog asks the same question about the District Council's relationship with Knowle:

Sorry, but going back to the 70’s helps no-one - that was more than 40 years ago! If successive councils (Tory AND Lib Dem) said NOTHING AT ALL during that time about it being unfit for purpose AND built an extension to it in the 80’s neither deserves to run the district! The whole building could have been brought up to scratch with regular maintenance and investment in green energy. The sourh-facing roof could have been providing the building with its own heating and a ground source heat pump, insulation and low-energy lighting could probably have had it being paid for electricity.

There was a decision for “managed neglect” that councillors should have been ashamed of.

See also:
Reckless … | Sidmouth Independent News


And another recent comment on the EDA blog asks a similar question re the now-demolished Elizabeth Hall in Exmouth:

It strikes me that councils are gaining a bit of a dodgy history of not looking after public property in their care.
East Devon have said would they need to spend a considerable amount on renovations to the Knowle.
And of course, as everyone in Exmouth knows, the lengthy, deliberate and utterly irresponsible neglect that Elizabeth Hall suffered was all part of the plan to make the case for demolition.
Trusted trustees and guardians of public property they are not.

North Devon District Council on the move too | East Devon Alliance

See also:
Will Exmouth lose more than it gains? | Sidmouth Independent News
Councils listening to the people? Well,not in Exmouth…… | Sidmouth Independent News


And here is a comment on the SIN blog from May last year - on the now-saved Longboat House in Budleigh - although the blame is apportioned to English Heritage and not the District Council:

Guardians of our heritage

31 MAY 2013

In case you missed it, SIN would like to highlight this comment left by Professor Mark Horton (see What price Britain’s Heritage?post 28 May), with thanks to him:

‘The saga of the longboat house is one of monstrous incompetence and willful neglect of our world heritage by various organisations that have been entrusted with the protection of our heritage and environment. Much of the blame lies with English Heritage, who failed to list the building despite an overwhelming intellectual and historical case to do so. This is the last remaining example of this type of building, and on those grounds alone, it should have been protected. The fact it is also in the WHS, and connected to existing Grade 2 buildings strengthens the case. I am afraid that their failure to list is based on crass ignorance of our maritime heritage, and a basic failure of their competence as guardians of our heritage.

The district council have not come out well either, showing themselves to be supine is a very clear case of an application that both fails to follow their own planning guidance, and WHS management panning, and which would have been clearly thrown out at Public Inquiry.

Please continue to support this campaign. I would love to feature the longboat house on Coast – its a fabulous story and one that needs telling to the wider world.’

Guardians of our heritage | Sidmouth Independent News

See also:
Time Team expert wades in to row over longboat site | Western Morning News


Finally, this is from the District Council's own strategy documents:

Extracts from pages 122 and 123 of "East Devon LDF Core Stategy - Preferred Strategy Approach Document 2010"

"We regard it as essential that we protect and conserve the historic built Heritage of East Devon. The traditional buildings of East Devon bring pleasure to residents and many visitors alike. They form a key part of the tourism appeal of the District and help define the distinctiveness that is East Devon. We already have strong national guidance and legislation that protects listed buildings and also strong Local Plan Policies? The key will be to apply existing legislation and guidance on the most effective way to protection of the built environment."

"Heritage assets can help with sustainability and promote a sense of place. Plans should consider investment in and enhancement of historic places, including consideration of how best to conserve individual, groups or types of assets that are most at risk of loss through neglect, decay or other threats. The physical and cultural heritage of the district will be conserved and enhanced and the contributions that historic places make to the economic and social well-being
of the population will be recognized, evaluated and promoted, through the preparation of policies within a Development Management DPD, work with local communities to produce and update Design Statements, and the incorporation of heritage asset assessment into further Strategy preparations such as that proposed for Green Infrastructure"

08/2537/FUL | Demolition of existing cafe/store and construction of new cafe/ restaurant facility | Longboat Cafe Marine Parade Budleigh Salterton EX9 6NS

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