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Heritage at Risk

In Swale

English Heritage publishes a Heritage at Risk Register annually. The purpose of the Register is to keep attention focused on historic buildings and monuments which are threatened, to define and monitor the scale of the problem and to help prioritise action and resources. Owners of listed buildings are expected to maintain them in reasonable condition and to prevent rapid deterioration. Where owners do not look after their buildings the Council has statutory powers which it can use to require them to repair or restore their listed buildings.

The English Heritage at Risk Register includes Grade I and II* listed buildings, structural scheduled monuments and conservation areas which are threatened by lack of maintenance or use. It is a useful indicator of the state of the Borough’s heritage. Swale has 16 entries, 9 of which have been on the Register since it was first published in 1998. Swale has the highest number of buildings and the highest number of conservation areas at risk out of all the Boroughs in Kent.

The Register can be viewed on the English Heritage website.

Since 2003 Swale Borough Council has maintained its own Local Heritage at Risk Register. The Local Register is not based on an extensive survey of the Borough’s listed buildings but is based on a detailed working knowledge of the district. Information about condition can help highlight the need for protection, conservation, enforcement and management of heritage assets.

There are currently 38 entries in the Local Heritage at Risk Register representing a very small proportion of the 1860 statutorily listed buildings in the Borough. They range from engine sheds in Faversham to the Radar Station in Dunkirk; from derelict houses to redundant churches. There is no distinct pattern to the type of building or the nature of the threat, but 9 of the entries relate to redundant farm buildings and 9 are within the former Royal Naval Dockyard at Sheerness.

Buildings at Risk merit particular mention:

Former Royal Naval Dockyard Church, Sheerness: Swale Borough Council’s compulsory purchase order was completed in July 2013 at which time the freehold was passed to the Spitalfields Building Preservation Trust under a back-to-back agreement. The Trust is now embarking on the massive task of restoring it and bringing it back in to use. Part of the project involves bringing the Rennie model of the dockyard back to Sheerness to be put on permanent and public display.

Sheerness Dockyard: Since 2009 Sheerness Dockyard has been included in the World Monuments Fund’s international Watch List as one of the most endangered historic sites in the world. Officers are working with English Heritage and Peel Ports to prevent the condition of the historic dockyard getting any worse.

Conservation areas at risk

For the first time the English Heritage Register includes conservation areas in Swale which English Heritage considers to be at risk. The findings resulted from a survey carried out to highlight the current condition of conservation areas including building condition, threats to character, empty properties and on-going trends.

AreaConditionVulnerability
Cellar Hill and Green Street, Teynham Poor Low
Sheerness Royal Naval Dockyard & Blue Town Very bad
Low
Sheerness Marine Town Fair Medium
Sheerness Mile Town Fair Medium
Sheerness Mile Town Fair Low

Contact the Conservation Officer using our contact form.

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