Local List proposal to protect buildings of value to communities in Suffolk Coastal

A similar scheme in Ipswich has included the Grimwade Memorial Hall

A similar scheme in Ipswich has included the Grimwade Memorial Hall

Buildings of value to communities in east Suffolk could gain greater protection under proposals being put forward for consideration.

Tony Fryatt, a senior member of the Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC), has raised the suggestion of creating a “Local List” for the Suffolk Coastal district.

Under the scheme community groups such as preservation societies would be asked to put forward buildings that are felt to be important enough to warrant greater protection.

Similar schemes already exist in Ipswich Borough Council’s planning policy, which gives protection to buildings such as the Alan Road Methodist Church, Grimwade Memorial Hall and Bourne Park War Memorial.

Mr Fryatt said it was an “anachronism” that Suffolk Coastal had not yet set up its own protections.

“Suffolk Coastal of all places should have this as there are so many buildings worthy of protection,” he added.

“The point of this scheme is to find buildings of real value to the community.”

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Mr Fryatt said dozens of buildings with community value had been demolished in recent years, which could have been preserved if the list had been put forward.

The Local List would be managed by Suffolk Coastal District Council with groups of volunteers requested to suggest buildings for consideration.

Mr Fryatt suggested groups such as the Woodbridge Society and the Felixstowe Society would make ideal candidates.

A panel of judges would then determine whether the building meets the criteria recommended by Historic England, which was formerly a part of English Heritage.

Mr Fryatt said Fiona Cairns, director of the Suffolk Preservation Society, had already agreed to join the panel and Robert Scrimgeour, a senior conservation officer, had also offered to support the scheme.

The suggestion was put before SALC at its latest meeting and will be considered again at the next meeting in June.

Mr Fryatt said that there had been “some concern” over the restrictions conveyed by other protected statuses, such as History England’s Grade I and II listed buildings.

However he added that Local Lists were focused on protecting demolition rather than restricting development.

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