SIR NEIL COSSINS
Despite the grand statement as to protection of historic buildings, in fact English Heritage are relatively powerless to prevent any local authority abandoning their own duty to protect the built environment, or to tackle obvious discrimination and possible fraud, as may be perceived by reading between the lines of a letter from Sir Neil Cossins.
Hence, if a local authority decide to turn a blind eye to their responsibility to the historic environment, or worse, to dupe the Secretary Of State, as the example given herein demonstrates, historic buildings are at the mercy of planning committees who are in turn at the mercy of unbalanced or otherwise biased or incomplete reports by their officers.
In the superbly documented example we are proud to report below, consecutive serving conservation officers with the Wealden District Council, first ignored all clues to the origins of a historic building, then later when English Heritage's Dr Richard Morrice confirmed the historic find, declined to answer pointed questions as to the value of the historic find. In this example Wealden's so-called conservation expert knew the DOE Inspectors Raymond Dannreuther and Raymond Michael had not been fed the correct information by George White and Thomas Hoy in 1987 and Chezel Bird and Douglas Moss in 1997, but knowing and fearful of losing favour with his bosses, he refused to clarify the situation for a Councillor asking direct questions, presumably having been warned by his instructing legal department his future with Wealden rested on his cooperation to continue in denial.
This amazing view is the only one of its kind in the world. As an example of technology change and adaptation it is unique. Under the left boughs of the oak tree in the left of the picture is the windmill at Windmill Hill that made the flour for the Herstmonceux village bakery. On the right is the electricity generating buildings that powered the village bakery. This view across a public footpath, will be lost forever to those who enjoy access to the countryside and historic buildings, if a proposal to flood the village with up to 70 houses more than is required by the Secretary of State for this area of Sussex.
MORE OF THIS STORY TO COME
English Heritage's Archaeology and Survey Department
The Archaeology and Survey Department is part of English Heritage's Conservation Department and provides archaeological expertise and advice to the organization. The Archaeology and Survey Department consists of three divisions:
A special treat for country lovers who enjoy seeing rural buildings in the flesh. This relatively unspoiled example of early electricity generation is in much need of a new roof and woodwork treatments. A unique find, it is rare to see a semi-industrial building that is made of wood, survive two World Wars. Indeed, this building doubled up in World War Two as a hospital for wounded airmen. Hence the title RAF Herstmonceux, because of the special association that Sussex had with the Chain Home early warning radar station complexes at RAF Wartling and RAF Beachy Head.
2017 - After considerable effort by umpteen volunteers, the historic generating buildings from C. 1900 at last have a roof that will last. With respect to the obligations imposed on all property owners and operators by the Climate Change Act 2008, PV solar panels are being installed (pergola in foreground), a wind turbine and solar water heaters. In addition, where possible glass area is being included to harvest passive heat to reduce the carbon footprint of this interesting complex. None of these improvements have harmed any of the original structure, which remains more or less as it was built, except for the missing range known as Phase B?, a section of the generating installation that it is hoped to reconstruct in similar outline in 2018.
Other faces of the building will be treated and protected with wooden cladding to also improve the insulation as a bonus to environmentalists. Instead of opening this site to the public, it is planned to replicate the internal and external features, including the National gas engine and make that available to the public as a 3D Virtual Museum experience.
English Heritage was created by Parliament in 1984 and charged with the protection of the historic environment and with promoting public understanding and enjoyment of it. English Heritage is the Government's official adviser on all matters concerning heritage conservation, conservation areas, and the repair of historic buildings.
English Heritage's principal aims are:
1) To secure the conservation of England's historic sites, monuments and buildings.
2) To promote people's access to, and enjoyment of, this shared heritage.
3) To raise the understanding and awareness of our heritage to increase commitment to its protection.
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