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Fine for historic building loss

The construction firm were fined a total of £3100 for loss of the building. Now they will be submitting plans for redevelopment. Wonder how much they will make from that? Admitedly they had Conservation Area consent to undertake demolition previous to the arson attacks. Still, a £3100 fine is laughable!
Until heritage is treated as its true value, ie irreplaceable we will see these disgustingly low fines. They should be charged the fine, as if set when the building was first built + compound interest from that point to this...A few bankruptcies later problem solved Confusedimples: Smile
Yeah, this seems a common tactic of property developers of problematic listed buildings/ scheduled sites. A fire or collapse/subsidence can be a handy way of removing the need to preserve anything.

I remember as a child local outrage when the front of a historic building that was to be preserved as part of the conditions on it being developed fell down.

It wasn't surprising as the developer had removed the rest of the building leaving the three story front barely supported.

They got away with rebuilding the front to look similar......though replacing the walls/window surrounds with modern brick meant any hint of the former hall is now gone.

It isn't a surprise then the number of 'listed' buildings that are bought, left empty and not maintained in the hope that a tree grows up through the middle/wall, the roof or a wall falls in, or a handy scally or hired thug sets fire to it. Just watch how quickly development on the site starts!

Or am I being too cynical.

Is this a case of 'we did nothing wrong' its not our fault it fell down.
I know there are rules dictating what you can't do to a listed building. Are there rules dictating that the owner must maintain it?
Well...scally wags are hired to burn places down in Belfast on a regular basis... I too saw the Plough Hotel front (to be saved) fall down due to lack of shiny front went up ..nothing like what fell down! Nothing changes..
There are lots of ways of ensuring the rapid decay of a building without doing anything as obvious as setting fire to it. Remove a few down pipes block or remove the gutters damage the vallies remove a few tiles. A couple of years down the line the wind and rain will render the structure unsound. Keep the roof in good repair and the water and vandals out and it will last indefinitely.
Wax...I know how to save it, that was not my point...
I think until it is an offence to let a listed building fall into decay there will be no come back. I suppose my point is that there is not much excuse for it and much of it is deliberate.

I worry more about the un designated heritage assets and the grade Two listed buildings where it is up to the cash strapped local councils (subject to pressure from local developers) to police what happens.

Until the public understand that their heritage is at serious risk there will be no change. They are very good at getting upset once something has gone but not good at recognising the threat. Perhaps it's our job to do that and educate them?

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