At a moment when many heritage sites are about to be threatened by development an interesting and simple conservation tactic has been reported from Wivenhoe, Essex.

Under the new planning regime, any impact on designated heritage assets will be considered in planning decisions but ones that are undesignated won’t be. Some might say that’s a pretty philistine approach,  given that only a small minority of assets are scheduled or otherwise protected. But at Wivenhoe “the public” has tried to get its retaliation in early: a list has been drawn up by historians and residents to highlight those places not officially recognised by English Heritage.

Volunteers from Wivenhoe Townscape Forum surveyed the town and persuaded Colchester Council’s local development framework committee to put 76 buildings and open spaces on a list to be given special consideration when a planning application is decided. Borough councillor John Jowers said: “It is a really good list. It is one of those things you look at and think: We should have done this years ago” while Robert Needham of the Townscape Forum added: ““I hope our case study will be useful for other groups looking to do the same thing.”

We can only agree! The idea is particularly relevant to those that have an interest in prehistoric sites as so many of those lack formal protection. If you know of one why not drop your local Council a line and ask them to put it on a “special consideration” list? Who knows, Wimpeys may already have it on their special consideration list!