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CATEGORY 1 & 2
WHAT IS A BUILDING AT RISK?
A Building At Risk is a statutorily Listed Building (or Scheduled Ancient Monument) whose architectural and historic significance mean that its loss would be locally, and sometimes nationally, detrimental.
Listed Buildings can be at risk in a number of ways. They may be threatened by vandalism or redevelopment. They may also be threatened by lack of investment leading to a lack of maintenance and general deterioration.
The Buildings At Risk survey was developed by English Heritage as a simple tool which would assist local authorities to identify neglected buildings and categorise buildings so that local authorities can establish priorities for a realistic strategy planned to make the best use of resources. A Building At Risk is defined as one which, for whatever reason, appears neglected. The term does not cover the threat resulting from proposed works such as undesirable alterations.
The survey results are recorded on a computer program originally developed by English Heritage but which has now been adapted to suit the needs of the local authority since in its original format it would not have been compliant with the year 2000. Having this information on a database allows the local authority to compare the degree of risk of all the Listed Buildings in their area on a common basis to help in establishing priorities.
The information system is designed to rapidly locate those buildings which warrant more detailed investigation. Problem buildings can most easily be identified by the recognisable indicators of neglect : condition and occupancy. The core of the survey is an assessment of these two factors, both judged from external inspection only. The chart below shows how condition and occupancy are used in association to define the different categories of risk on a scale from 1 to 6. This provides a national standard of risk assessment.
Buildings in risk categories 1-3 are defined as being 'at risk'; those in category 4 are vulnerable' buildings which may soon be at risk and those in categories 5 and 6 are not at risk from neglect.
The procedure does not constitute a full condition survey which would require access to the buildings by a qualified building professional at much greater cost. As part of their work to follow up the survey local authorities consider more detailed inspection of the condition of those buildings identified as being at risk.
Listed Buildings incorporate many different structures such as bridges, statues and chest tombs which cannot be occupied. These have not been addressed in this survey of the District but it is intended that once a program of action for the priority buildings is underway, further work especially on chest tombs, can be carried out.
In addition to the risk category, the survey provides information about the statutory list grade, building type (defined by a word list), original and current use and whether a building is situated in a Conservation Area.
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