Any buildings at risk list is fluid. One of great satisfactions of running any risk list is when a building can be removed. In August 2014 the West Briton carried a Cornish Buildings Group press release entitled ‘From Saltash to St Erth – heritage in peril’ which reported
In our article we stated that the very first thing a train visitor saw when they entered Cornwall over Brunel’s landmark bridge was a deserted and un-kept building, overgrown with weeds and vandalised. Despite several attempts by the Cornish Buildings Group to get an Urgent Repairs Notice issued for Saltash station nothing had been done for years.
Thanks to a local activist and with our support, pressure was put onto local authorities to pursue a solution to the abandoned, unkept and unlisted heritage asset. Today the station is returning to something of its former glory −a consequence of Saltash Town Council taking a positive lead and drawing on the skills of Bailey Partnership who have put forward exciting refurbishment plans. The project has been primarily funded by the Great Western Railway Customer and Communities Improvement Fund, Cornwall Council Local Transport Plan fund and the Railway Heritage Trust.
Of the project The Bailey Partnership website describes a
…sensitive refurbishment and partial rebuild of the long-neglected Train Station to provide improved rail patron facilities including; WCs, waiting room, a flexible open plan space with cafe/coffee bar and potential office space. The intention is to open up the space, exposing the previously concealed king post trusses and timber close boarding. Externally, there are proposals to reinstate original GWR railway heritage features such as spearhead fencing, station signage, benches and an entrance canopy using the original gallows brackets.
The Cornish Building Group welcome this work and the sensitive approach they have taken, who knows this may be a contender for a future Cornish Buildings Group award.
After many years of our campaigning there is positive news on Charlestown Chapel in that the school rooms to the rear are now watertight and converted into residential units and works to improve the outwards appearance of the historic chapel are well underway. Likewise, a warehouse in Well Lane, by Liskeard’s local hero Henry Rice, has been successfully refurbished into residential units. One of our other long-standing cases was 13 High Street, Launceston, which has now thankfully changed ownership. We will continue to watch with interest.
The Cornish Buildings Group are leading a three-year (2020-3) Historic England/ Cornwall Heritage Trust grant funded project to identify and campaign for Cornish buildings at risk. The Group has maintained a register for buildings at risk since 2014 however has done so with volunteer support only. This funding will support a case officer who will have dedicated time to champion buildings at risk.
The aim of this project is to identify and monitor buildings at risk and seek solutions for neglected, redundant or derelict listed buildings.
Please help us in supporting this project. You can simply report a historic building or valued heritage asset which is either derelict or not being properly cared for. Alternatively, you might like to volunteer to support and follow the project more closely.
To discuss further please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Our website has more details of buildings at risk in the county and a downloadable form that will help us with some background local knowledge. This can be found by visiting our website.
Paul Holden, FSA.
Buildings at Risk Casework Officer.