Surrey Heath Draft Local Plan Issues Options/Preferred Options, 2018


8.12 This section sets out the approach to the historic environment within Surrey Heath. The historic environment can play a powerful role in shaping distinctive, vibrant and prosperous places. It has the potential to increase the wellbeing and quality of life of those experiencing it and can bring a sense of identity and civic pride to the places where people live and work. The historic environment has been shown to attract businesses and greater numbers of visitors to commercial areas when compared with areas not considered to have historic interest.

8.13 Surrey Heath is home to 180 statutory listed buildings, 2 registered parks and gardens and 4 scheduled monuments, in addition to 9 Conservation Areas. The Council has also identified over 200 heritage assets which are not statutory listed, but that are locally valued for their historic or architectural interest.

8.14 Together these heritage assets make up the historic environment of Surrey Heath; our recognition and consideration of their individual and cumulative heritage significance makes tangible the unique set of historical influences that have shaped the Borough, including its heathland environment, military use, its nursery industries and its location on the London to Lands' End coaching road (the A30). Together, these provide a distinctive identity that is unique to Surrey Heath that should be preserved and enhanced to ensure that the Borough remains a vibrant and prosperous place to live and work.


National Policy Context

8.15 In the preparation of this section, regard has been had to Section 12 (Paragraphs 126 - 141) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) 2012, which sets out the Government's approach to heritage assets. Heritage assets are defined by the NPPF as:

'A building, monument, site, place, area or landscape identified as having a degree of significance meriting consideration in planning decisions, because of its heritage interest. Heritage asset includes designated heritage assets and assets identified by the local planning authority (including local listing)'

View the national policies relating to heritage in more detail, located on the online version of the Government's National Planning Policy Framework.


Sub Regional Context

8.16 The NPPF, 2012, requires local planning authorities to either maintain or have access to a Historic Environment Record (HER). The Surrey HER is held by Surrey County Council and provides an index of all heritage assets known within the county.


Local Strategies and Evidence

8.17 The preferred policy approach would support the objectives set out in Surrey Heath's Five Year Strategy, which covers the period 2017 - 2021. One of the Strategies key themes is 'prosperity'. The Council's principal objective in relation to 'prosperity' is to support and promote the Boroughs local economy so that people can work and do business across Surrey Heath. This will be achieved by promoting Surrey Heath as a great place to live and work. Heritage has the capacity to help promote Surrey Heath as a great place to live and work by giving the Borough a unique identity that will make the Borough attractive to investors. Heritage also has the capacity to contribute to the objectives of 'place' and 'people' by encouraging high quality design and enhancing wellbeing and quality of life.

8.18 The Council's Economic Development Strategy recognises the potential of heritage to help the Council deliver its strategic economic objectives. Objective one of the Economic Strategy seeks to create a sustainable place to live, work, shop and play by transforming Camberley, nurturing thriving villages and stimulating the visitor and creative economy. By preserving and enhancing the heritage that makes the Borough unique, the Borough's places and spaces can remain vibrant and prosperous by giving visitors a unique experience that cannot be found elsewhere. Creative and cultural industries are 29 per cent more likely to be found in a listed building that in a non-listed building in England (HLF 2013). Objective 3 of the Economic Strategy recognises that the Borough's military heritage is a key component of the local economy.

View the Economic Development Strategy, located on the Council's website.

8.19 Surrey Heath is home to many heritage assets, including 180 statutory listed buildings, 2 registered parks and gardens and 4 scheduled monuments, in addition to 9 Conservation Areas, including:

  • Bagshot Village;
  • Bagshot Church Road;
  • Bagshot Park;
  • Basingstoke Canal;
  • Chobham Village;
  • RMA (Former) Staff College/London Road, Camberley;
  • Upper Gordon Road to Church Hill, Camberley;
  • Windlesham (Church Road); and,
  • Windlesham (Updown Hill).

8.20 The Borough also accommodates a number of heritage assets that are not recognised for their historic significance at a statutory level, but that are valued locally for the contribution they make to the distinct character and heritage of the local area. The heritage value of many of these structures is recognised through their inclusion on the Council's List of Structures of Local Significance, also known as the 'local list'.

8.21 However it is also recognised that there are heritage assets within the Borough that may not currently be designated, either because their significance has only recently been revealed or has never been formally considered. Where the significance of a heritage asset is not properly understood, it's architectural, historical, archaeological or artistic interest is at greater risk of erosion or loss through alteration or change. As such resources are irreplaceable, poorly considered or poorly intentioned change poses a risk to the historic environment within Surrey Heath.

8.22 To address this issue, the Council is currently undertaking a programme of assessment and review of the local list. It is also proposing to prepare a Heritage Strategy to provide a positive strategy for the management of the Borough's heritage. This will identify groupings of heritage assets which contribute to the local distinctiveness of the Borough, describe any emerging key themes, identify any vulnerabilities and opportunities for the management of the Borough's historic environment and make recommendations to enable the significance of the Borough's heritage assets to be robustly accounted for as part of any future development management decisions.

8.23 The following policies will be replaced in the new Local Plan (2016-2032).

Relevant Policies in the adopted CSDMP DPD 2012

  • Policy DM17 'Heritage'


Draft Objectives for Heritage Assets Policies

Objective J

To conserve and enhance the Borough's built environment and heritage assets, both designated and non-designated.


Policy Approaches to Heritage Assets

8.24 The preferred policy approach and alternative approaches to Heritage are set out below.

Preferred policy approach to heritage assets

Having a Heritage Assets policy that would address:

  • The need to conserve and enhance heritage assets, including undesignated heritage assets, in line with their significance;
  • The requirement for developers to provide a Heritage Statement for any schemes that will affect, or that have potential to affect designated and undesignated heritage assets, including what the expectations will be for the Heritage Statement.
  • The need for schemes affecting archaeological sites to submit desk-based assessments.
  • That where there is evidence of deliberate neglect of or damage to a heritage asset the deteriorated state of the asset will not be taken into account.

Alternative approaches to heritage assets

  • Retain Core Strategy and Development Management DPD Policy DM17. This would provide less detail than set out in the above Policy;
  • Have a suite of heritage asset policies dealing with each type of heritage asset. This may have a similar effect to the above, but could lead to repetition between Policies;
  • To have two heritage asset policies addressing designated heritage assets and undesignated heritage assets. This may have a similar effect to the above, but could lead to repetition between Policies.


Preferred policy approach to the loss of heritage assets

Having a Policy addressing the Loss of a Heritage Asset, which will address:

  • That any proposed demolition of a designated or undesignated heritage asset or part thereof will only be permitted where it is considered that the proposal will not have a detrimental impact upon the significance of the heritage asset.
  • That the more significant a heritage asset is, the greater the weight that will be applied to the retention of the asset in decision making;
  • The loss of nationally designated heritage assets should be wholly exceptional;
  • The information requirements expected to be provided where an application is submitted for demolition or partial demolition of a heritage asset;
  • That in considering the acceptability of any scheme proposing demolition or partial demolition, the Council will consider the condition of the heritage asset, the adequacy of efforts to retain the asset and the public benefits arising from demolition.

Alternative Approach to the loss of heritage assets

  • No Policy - rely on guidance set out within the National Planning Policy Framework. This would provide less detail than set out in the above Policy.