To consider the contents of the draft Heritage Strategy and agree feedback to the Cabinet.
The Committee had before it a report (and appendix) of the Corporate Director (Planning and Regeneration) (A.4) which enabled it to consider the contents of the draft Heritage strategy and to agree its feedback to the Cabinet.
The Chairman invited Bill Marshall to address the Committee:
Bill Marshall, a resident of the district, made a statement relating to item A.4 raising his concerns that this strategy should be put on the back burner in order for Officers to focus on Section 1 and Section 2.
Members were informed that Tendring’s Heritage Strategy aimed to promote the protection and celebration of the area’s rich history, predominantly contained within its historic environment, and guides its evolution to enhance the positive contribution it makes to the lives of those people living in and visiting the District. The Strategy would form a baseline document, accessible to all, pertaining to the management and promotion of all aspects of the historic environment. An enhanced understanding of Tendring’s Heritage would enable the Council to:
· Recognise and understand the key assets within Tendring which gave it its special character;
· Create a knowledge hub of existing museums, archives, traditions and local groups which contributed to the protection and continuation of Tendring’s heritage;
· Provide a platform for collaborative working across Tendring, and encourage a continued joined-up approach to heritage management;
· Identify key areas and assets which made the greatest contribution to the heritage of Tendring;
· Identify priority areas where heritage in the form of the historic environment was under threat and the unique issues faced; and
· Actively engage with and promote heritage opportunities in terms of the wider regeneration and economic development of Tendring to provide a framework for future investment.
The draft Strategy was organised into two parts:
Part One: The Baseline
The Strategy began by giving a potted history of the District from 400,000 years ago, the time at which the oldest wooden implement in England dates from; to its Victorian era when seaside holidays thrived in the District.
The Strategy then considered the archaeology and historic landscapes of Tendring with its significant Mesolithic settlements, Neolithic enclosures and monuments, and Bronze Age monuments and cemeteries.
The architecture of Tendring was highlighted with illustrations of particular buildings, streets, vistas and building detailing throughout the District. Physical heritage assets were also detailed here. Those included listed buildings, conservation areas and scheduled monuments. Also detailed in this section was Tendring’s heritage at risk.
An exploration of Tendring’s museums, societies and heritage-focused groups was given. As tourism and attractions could have an historic basis, those were also examined and covered navigational, piers, military and maritime, arts and culture, industrial and built heritage attractions.
Part 2 – Objectives, Action Plan and Case Study
To inform the objectives of the Strategy, six key themes had been formed. Those are:
Objective 1: ConservationEnsure the sustainable management of all heritage assets, including buildings, landscapes, monuments, landscapes and settlements, through the appropriate conservation and preservation of their significance.
Objective 2: CollaborationPromote and support initiatives for partnership working involving all people and organisations engaged with the heritage of Tendring District.
Objective 3: KnowledgeSupport the furthering of knowledge and understanding of Tendring’s heritage through research and education, and promote training and education opportunities to share knowledge and skills with all people and organisations engaged in the heritage of Tendring District.
Objective 4: Character and IdentitySupport and promote initiatives and events that celebrate the culture, traditions and customs of all people and communities within Tendring District, and promote the unique characteristics and attractions of the District.
Objective 5: InterpretationRaise public awareness and appreciation of Tendring’s heritage through a considered approach to communication methods with different audiences, and support initiatives to encourage the promotion of heritage and the engagement of residents and visitors with it.
Objective 6: AccessibilityRecognise and promote the value heritage offers to people’s wellbeing, health, identity and sense of belonging by supporting improvements in accessibility to Tendring’s heritage sites, buildings and monuments and encouraging initiatives which provide wider audiences with access to heritage.
Opportunities for enhancement included:
· The use of technology,
· Promoting museums and collections,
· The re-use of vacant historic buildings,
· Education of both landowners and children,
· Promoting ‘Healthy Heritage’
· Helping existing attractions reach full potential and
· New development and quality design.
Once adopted, a programme of implementation could be developed to manage delivery of the heritage strategy actions. Projects delivered through this programme could look to various sources for part funding. Those included:
· National Heritage Lottery Fund
· Heritage Action Zones (Historic England)
· Section 106 Agreements
· Partnership Schemes in Conservation Areas with Historic England
A case study of Church Street in Harwich’s Old Town was included in order to demonstrate what could be achieved using the objectives of the Heritage Strategy.
Members were encouraged to email Planning Officers with their thoughts and suggestions in regards to the Draft Heritage Strategy.
Having considered and discussed the information provided in the report and the contents of the draft Heritage Strategy:-
It was unanimously RESOLVED that –
(a) the contents of the Draft Heritage Strategy be noted; and
(b) any comments submitted by Members to the Planning Officers be incorporated into the further report to Cabinet in due course.