Port Sunlight lands a national award

Historic England recognises the efforts of local people to save their heritage

Media release
Date of Issue: 10th November 2016
RE: Historic England’s Angels awards 2016

Partnership working between Wirral Council’s Conservation Team and the Port Sunlight Village Trust has landed 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 resulted in the council and the village trust being put forward for an Historic England Angels award and this week at a ceremony at London’s Palace Theatre they won Best Research Project and were presented with their prize by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The awards celebrate and reward the efforts of local people in saving their heritage and are co-funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation. There were 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.

Wirral Council’s Planning Committee voted unanimously to adopt the Port Sunlight LLBCO last year and it became only the second large-scale initiative of its kind nationwide, following in the footsteps of the Little Germany area of Bradford.

Cllr Jerry Williams, who is Wirral’s Heritage Pledge Champion, said: “I’d like to congratulate the team behind the combined efforts to introduce this really valuable initiative. The award is well-deserved and shows how much the council values not just the area’s built heritage but also the contribution that residents make to helping to maintain it.”

Paul Harris, Chief Executive of Port Sunlight Village Trust, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded Best Research Project for the work we have done alongside Wirral Council. The award 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.”

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.

Ideal test case

With more than 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 an 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.

There are more details on the LLBCO on the Port Sunlight Village Trust website, and more on the Angel Awards on the Historic England site.

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 fulfills 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.

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