08:46AM, Thursday 17 January 2013
Heritage campaigners are urging borough planning chiefs to go the extra mile to protect unlisted historic buildings.
They want the Royal Borough to start a 'non-designated heritage asset' list.
Their plea comes in the wake of them fighting off demolition and development plans at Eton College's 1843-built old sanitorium.
More than half of council authorities in the UK have a list, for sites of archaeological, architectural, artistic or historic interest, not statutorily recognised.
Buildings include non-listed houses, public houses, barns, and other farm buildings, and those not in conservation areas, which authorities say should be preserved and protected.
The treatment for sites as non-designated heritage assets was developed in the government's national policy planning framework in March last year.
"I think there are a lot that need to be preserved as there are many which are threatened and are important to communities."
The father-of-one added heritage gives communities a 'connection with generations of the past'.
Fellow Eton campaigner Maureen McLean said the heritage asset list is needed as the 'history of the area is being eroded'.
Developers seeking to demolish buildings on the list face extra scrutiny to get developments accepted, but it does not guarantee preservation.
In objecting to plans for the college's old hospital, the Ancient Monuments Society called for the Victorian building to be treated as one.
The Royal Borough is yet to start a list, but officers mentioned it to councillors on Monday last week at a Windsor urban development meeting.
Cllr MJ Saunders, cabinet member for planning and property, said he had never seen the heritage asset list before, but saw no reason why one could not be started.
He said: "I would imagine we would be responsive and supportive to this proposal as we are a keen owner of heritage assets.
"At face value I imagine we could fit it together with our new community asset register."
Cllr Saunders added he would discuss it with borough planning chief Simon Hurrell at a meeting tomorrow.
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