‘It’s really important to the character of the area’: Council exceeds target for saving ‘at risk’ historic buildings

Walton Mill House in Aylesbury is one of the buildings deemed at risk
Walton Mill House in Aylesbury is one of the buildings deemed at risk

A council programme to restore listed buildings to their prime is exceeding its annual target.

The corporate plan set out by Aylesbury Vale District Council identified 83 buildings as at risk, with a target of removing a minimum of eight of these annually.

However, the council has exceeded its target after it removed 14 buildings from the list.

Design, conservation and engineering manager Paul Acton said: “We are not complacent. There are still quite a few to make sure are safeguarded for the future. We will keep on it.”

Mr Acton said it would remain a rolling project as more buildings will be added as some are removed from the list and buildings such as Walton Mill House in Aylesbury remain on the list.

Of the 2,877 listed buildings in the district, Mr Acton said he was pleased that as few as 83 were deemed at risk.

“Most owners of listed buildings look after them very well. Sometimes, of course, we get damage.

“Really it’s the owners responsibility. Sometimes it’s neglect. There are various reasons.

“We can provide them with some advice and help and direct them towards what it is that needs to be done.”

There are three categories for classifying a building as risk, the first being that there is structural failure, the second that there are essential repairs required and the last that minor repairs are required.

Temples Croft in Dinton, Ballard Row in Aston Clinton and 3, Walton Terrace are some of the 14 buildings within the Vale to be restored.

Mr Acton said Temples Croft in Dinton had been empty for many years after the elderly owners had moved out and the damage had been caused by rain damage.

Such properties as Temples Croft have left Mr Acton pleased with how the historic buildings at risk project is progressing.

He said: “It is obviously a good thing. It’s really important to the character of the area.”