This has to be the most commonly asked question. The answer is not so simple as it might seem at first sight as buildings can fall into various levels of disrepair. The reasons for such decline, again, can be varied and complex. This project is interested in all building types (regardless of being listed or not) in varying states of neglect and decay. Our criteria for a building at risk is laid out below.
Our definition of a Building at Risk
A building should be defined as ‘at risk’ if it is in poor repair and there is no realistic plan for repair and future use.
A building will be defined as in poor repair if it exhibits three or more of the following characteristics:
- The roof is not weather tight.
- Windows are boarded up or broken.
- Gutters and rainwater goods are not functioning properly.
- There are significant outbreaks of dry or wet rot.
- The building is unoccupied or out of use.
- Inappropriate alterations are proposed to the building.
- An inappropriate use is proposed for the building.
The above criteria provide an objective basis for assessing a building’s status, but good judgement is always required. We will always recognise realistic plans of owners or others for repairing or restoring a buildings; such plans should be rigorous, prepared with appropriate expert input, have realistic timescales and properly costed and resourced.
One example of a building at risk is Poyton’s Piece, near Minions, St Cleer. This complex comprises of two small semi-detached miners’ cottages and small holdings, typical of those found in the World Heritage Site.
According to the Historic Environment Record, Poynton’s Piece was first recorded in 1699. It appears on the c.1803 Ordnance Survey, where is is described as Ponton’s Piece and is shown associated with a small patch of enclosed land. At this time, it was the only settlement in the area as Minions was not yet in existence. The c.1880 Ordnance Survey shows a scatter of buildings positioned alongside the Caradon to Looe railway.
Today, these unlisted granite rubble buildings are largely roofless and ruined.