Context 146 - September 2016

44 C O N T E X T 1 4 6 : S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 thatAllison andMarkham’s EarthGalleries (1929–33) and the bespokeWhale Hall (1929–31) had special interest and were included. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the new list entry is nearly 50 times as long as the original one. It is worth reminding that a list entry is never intended to be the last word on a site: conservation management plans, reports and publications will all continue to serve important roles. But where further clarity is required to inform conversations about significance, an enhanced list entry can contribute helpfully to the process of understanding and change. The other major building that has been updated under EAS is a complex series of listings inYork, comprising the 15th-century Guildhall and 18th-centuryMansionHouse, both listed at Grade I in 1954, and the late 19th-century Grade II Municipal Offices. The EAS application was to amend the list entries and to determine the status of curtilage buildings.The City ofYork Council is presently engaged in pre-planning discussions for the site which need to be based on a sound assessment of significance. Historic England carefully reassessed this important civic complex, deploying best practice such as powers of exclu- sion, to say where special interest is manifestly present, and where it is lacking. We modernised each of the list entries, upgraded theMunicipal Offices to Grade II*, and listed the former muniment room and cells at Grade II. Such revisions may well result in different parts of a site being differently graded to reflect significance. We have also handled a few listing screening cases.This new service involves Historic England’s research teams preparing a report of a site’s historical and architectural development, in part to guide an informal recommenda- tion about which assets might warrant assessment for listing and which would not. The hoped-for next step would be a request for a fast-track assessment of any possible listing candidates so that all parties have certainty. We have completed two of these: for a site at a university and another screening for Network Rail’s Crewe Station. In one case we were able to confirm that none of the buildings in the study area would warrant listing; in the second we identified that a discrete group of railway structures from the 1860s would benefit from a full listing assessment.Network Rail, the owner, has pursued this, so it is a live listing case as I write. A service level agreement for continuing work of this nature might be an appropriate way forward for some major estate owners as well. This is a newway of working for us at Historic England, a delicate but achievable balance of new customer rela- tionships while maintaining the free service. Our advice remains the same but through EAS we are pleased to be able to take onwork that owners andmanagers of heritage sites need. This work is broadly happening across the country, with an inevitable concentration in London and the south east, and has already covered a wide range of sites, from individual houses to large public estates.The common factor is a need for clarity and certainty, which we are committed to providing, since that is good for all parties as well as the historic environment. Platform 12 at Crewe Station (1903–6) The Horizon Tobacco Factory in Nottingham, 1969–71, by Peter Foggo of Arup Associates Emily Gee is head of listing advice at Historic England.

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