Port Sunlight in line for national heritage award

Village is nominated in 2016 Historic England Angel Awards and is asking for the public’s vote

Media release
Date of Issue: 5th August 2016

Partnership working between the Port Sunlight Village Trust and Wirral Council’s Conservation Team has resulted in a nomination for a national heritage award.

Late last year, Port Sunlight became only the second area in the country to introduce a Local Listed Building Consent Order (LLBCO), which gives residents ‘blanket’ consent to make certain alterations to the rear of their properties in that Conservation Area. The work carried out to achieve this order has resulted in the council and the village trust being put forward for an Historic England Angels award.

These awards celebrate and reward the efforts of local people in saving their heritage and are co-funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. There are five categories of award – best community action project, best contribution to a heritage project by young people, best research project, best rescue of a heritage site and outstanding contribution to heritage.

The Trust is asking for support from members of the public who can give the project their vote through the Historic England website. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at London’s Palace Theatre in November and will be presented by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

It was late last year when Wirral Council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously to adopt the Port Sunlight Local Listed Building Consent Order (LLBCO), which grants ‘blanket’ consent for certain alterations to the backs of the listed houses in the Conservation Area. The Port Sunlight LLBCO became only the second large-scale initiative of its kind nation-wide, following in the footsteps of the Little Germany area of Bradford. Port Sunlight Village Trust worked in partnership with Wirral Council and local residents to develop the LLBCO with the goal of making home ownership a bit easier by simplifying and fast-tracking consent for the most common alterations to the houses.

The alterations included in the LLBCO would normally require full Listed Building Consent from Wirral Council and permission from the Trust. Applying for full Listed Building Consent can be a fairly long and uncertain process. Under the LLBCO, permitted works are fully described; taking uncertainty out of the process, and the local planning authority only has 28 calendar days to accept a LLBCO Notice of work.

With over 900 Grade II Listed houses, Port Sunlight has a high concentration of listed sites in private, independent ownership. Typical deteriorated conditions, repetitive listed building consent applications and common heritage enforcement issues (works done without consent) made the village an ideal test case for the newly enacted LLBCO.

The Port Sunlight LLBCO includes installation of satellite dishes in appropriate locations and replacement of severely deteriorated or inappropriate rear doors, rear windows and yard gates. The LLBCO specifies the rear window, rear door and yard gates approved under the LLBCO. If residents prefer to install something other than what is specified in the LLBCO, then they will have to apply for full Listed Building Consent.

Paul Harris Chief Executive of Port Sunlight Village Trust said: “We are thrilled to have been nominated for Best Research Project with Wirral Council. Our joint nomination recognises the significant amount of work that went into the development and adoption of the new LLBCO, and we are very grateful to Historic England for their advice and support throughout the process.

“As soon as the LLBCO was adopted it generated a lot of interest from village residents and we already have examples of where it has been used.”

Notes to editors

About Port Sunlight Village Trust
Port Sunlight Village Trust is a an independent charitable trust responsible for preserving and promoting the Conservation Area of Port Sunlight, which was founded by William Hesketh Lever in 1888 for the employees of Lever Brothers Port Sunlight.

The Trust fulfils its mission through:
• Port Sunlight Museum and its associated public programmes
• Conserving and maintaining all of the village’s parks, gardens, monuments and memorials,
• Conserving, maintaining and operating the majority of the listed public buildings in the village and nearly one-third of the houses.

Media contact
Carol Darlington
T: 0151 644 4815
E: c.darlington@portsunlightvillage.com