Buildings At Risk
The historic environment is made up of many components including buildings, monuments, townscapes, landscapes and gardens. Many buildings and structures are recognised as being of special significance for their architectural and historic value and designated as listed buildings. Currently there are 1045 listed buildings within the County Borough. Whilst this status protects buildings from detrimental change, through the effects of alteration, it does not necessarily prevent buildings from becoming at risk from neglect or decay. The heritage value of these assets, however, places a greater importance on ensuring they are safeguarded for the future.
Historic buildings do not only provide aesthetic benefits creating interest and contributing to the character of our urban and rural landscapes, they also act as an historical record that cannot be replaced and a unique connection to past lives, traditions and events. Equally these buildings cannot be preserved in time as a remnant of the past; rather they must continue to have purpose, serving the current cultural, social and economic needs of our local communities.
The condition of Wales’ listed building stock is reviewed on a 5 yearly basis in a survey commissioned by the Welsh Government’s Historic Environment Service (Cadw). The survey records details of the condition, vulnerability to the elements and crime, occupancy and rate of deterioration of all listed assets and awards the building a risk score under the following categories:
- 1 Extreme Risk
- 2 Grave Risk
- 3 At Risk
- 4 Vulnerable (Not currently at risk but if their condition is allowed to deteriorate they may fall into one of the ‘at risk’ categories).
- 5/6 Not at risk
The most recent survey for Wrexham County Borough was undertaken by consultants in 2013/2014 and these figures are reviewed on an annual basis by the Local Planning Authority. The current number of buildings at risk is 78 with a further 127 considered to be vulnerable.
The Buildings at Risk Strategy, published on a 5 yearly basis, provides a means to further our understanding of the nature and scale of the problems resulting from neglect and decay and allows us to determine and prioritise actions needed to address the issues faced.