Village Alive Trust
Village Alive Trust

Monmouthshire’s heritage assets spotlighted at Stop the Rot event

OWNERS of some of the county’s privately-owned Listed Buildings were hosted at an informative Stop the Rot Conference organised by The Village Alive Trust Ymddiriedolaeth y Pentre Byw in partnership with Monmouthshire County Council.

Letters of invitation had gone to the owners of around 50 Listed Buildings deemed to be at risk of ‘serious loss of features or decline’ following the latest five yearly condition survey by consultants on behalf of Cadw. The event also brought interest from other owners of listed buildings in the area.

Demand for places saw the event moved to the historic Llanddewi Skirrid Village Hall although it was part of The Village Alive Trust’s latest project to conserve the Croft Barn at Whitecastle Vineyard, a project supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and Cadw.

Speakers were Amy Longford, Heritage Manager at MCC (who was accompanied by Molly Edwards, Heritage Monitoring Officer); Monmouth architect, Graham Frecknall; Usk architect Liz Hernon and Ross Murray, president of the Country Landowners and Business Association.

Amy explained the basis of the Listed Building register in Monmouthshire which contains condition details of the county’s 2229 Listed Buildings, the fourth highest number per county in Wales. She also detailed the whys and wherefores of ‘listing’ and the legal constraints on unauthorised repairs or development of Listed Buildings. While neglect of owners’ responsibilities for the buildings could result in prosecution, this was rare, and obtaining the necessary Listed Building Consent from MCC before tackling a building was free of administration charge, she explained.

Both architects gave illustrated talks on the warning signs and practical steps to take to ‘Stop the Rot’ and Ross Murray gave a spirited talk on alternative uses for Listed Buildings and the need for lobbying of politicians to help owners more easily protect and reinvent heritage buildings.

Feedback comments from attendees were largely positive, including ‘Excellent conference, most useful, inspirational, encouraging’ and ‘Interested in further help’.

The Village Trust website contains details of all the Trust’s work.

*Pictured is Trust chairman Pat Griffiths opening the Stop the Rot event.

Stop The Rot Conference at Llanddewi Skirrid Hall