Identify buildings in need of repair work

Identify buildings in need of repair work

Milton Manor

Osney Mill has been converted to flats

First published in Headlines Banbury Cake: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

HERITAGE bosses want community groups to identify Grade II listed buildings in Oxfordshire that are desperately in need of repair.

English Heritage announced the appeal as it launched its Heritage At Risk Register for 2012.

Until now, Grade II listed buildings in the South East, excluding London, have not been included in the register.

But English Heritage regional planning director Dr Andy Brown said: “Grade II listed buildings are the bulk of the South East’s heritage assets.”

There are 70,650 Grade II listed buildings in the South East, accounting for 92.6 per cent of listed buildings in the region.

Mr Brown added: “Nearly 71,000 Grade II buildings is not a large number in relation to all the buildings in the South East, but it is too many for English Heritage to survey on its own.

“We need help from local authorities, heritage and community groups to find the most efficient way of conducting such an exercise.

“We will fund between nine and 15 pilot surveys around the country. It will help all parties involved, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grant-givers, to get rescues under way where nothing has been happening for years.

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“English Heritage launched the first Buildings at Risk Register in 1998 and has expanded it over the years to include archaeology, monuments, gardens, conservation areas, places of worship, wrecks and battlefields.

“Now it’s time to plug the one remaining gap. It’s going to take a tremendous team effort.

“We anticipate that three to seven per cent of Grade II buildings will be found to be at risk once the pilots get under way.

“This would amount to between 2,000 and 5,000 additional buildings at risk on the South East Register.”

In the latest survey, Grade I listed Milton Manor, in Milton, near Didcot, was one of five buildings in the South East added to the Heritage at Risk Register.

But Osney Abbey in Mill Street, West Oxford, was one of 12 South East buildings removed from the register following refurbishment.

Last year, the remains of the abbey were turned into office space, alongside refurbished Osney Mill, which has been turned into 12 flats.

Tony Munsey, whose family owns the site, said: “The abbey has been refurbished, although we don’t quite know yet what it will be used for – it could be an office or some sort of amenity space.

“We are delighted that English Heritage has recognised the work we have done.”

English Heritage picked out the Hook Norton Brewery building as an example of a Grade II listed building that is not yet on the register, but would benefit from repairs, particularly to the chimney on the main brewhouse.

Three county churches have also been added to the register – St Lawrence’s in Milcombe, near Banbury, St Mary’s in Pyrton, near Watlington, and St Michael and All Angels in Leafield, near Witney.

St Michael and All Angels has nearly completed a £285,000 fundraising drive to restore the building.

For further information visit english-heritage.org.uk

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