Most of the structures are listed buildings, some are not listed but lie within conservation areas and a few are scheduled monuments.
There are currently 131 Buildings at Risk on the register (this is continually updated by us with information provided by the local authorities).
Owners of listed buildings, which are not being maintained in a 'proper state of preservation' can be subject to legal action by a local council under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, to enforce proper repairs, and in default this neglect may lead to compulsory purchase proceedings by the council.
The first register, published in 1999, was produced as a result of a survey of listed 'buildings at risk' undertaken by the Handley Partnership. Since then, monitoring and updating of the register has been carried out by our Conservation and Design section in conjunction with the Trust and Snowdonia National Park Authority.
Neither Conwy County Borough Council nor the Trust can be held liable for any inaccuracy in the information provided.
Buildings at Risk - FAQ's
Q: What is the Building at risk register?
A: The Buildings at Risk Register highlights properties of architectural or historic merit throughout the county that are considered to be at risk or under threat. It was established in Conwy in 1999 and is maintained by Conwy County Borough Council and the Scott Handley Partnership.
Q: What is a building at risk?
A: A Building at Risk is a listed building that meets one or several of the following criteria:
- vacant with no identified new usesuffering from neglect and/or poor maintenance
- suffering from structural problems
- fire damaged
- unsecured open to the elements
- threatened with demolition.
However, this list is not exhaustive, and other criteria may sometimes be considered when assessing a building for inclusion in the Register.
Q: Does the register include scheduled monuments?
A: A scheduled monument is a monument of national importance has been given legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. Scheduled monuments are specifically excluded from the Buildings at Risk Register as a matter of policy, as the designation carries with it a presumption against development.
Q: How do the buildings at risk service assess condition?
A: The condition of a building is usually assessed during site visits undertaken by the Handley Partnership. Usually based upon a visual inspection of the external fabric, it does not constitute a structural appraisal and independent expert advice should always be sought. The following categories are used to describe the condition of a building, though other criteria often come into play.
Ruinous - The building is a roofless shell. Little of the original fabric remains other than the external walls.
Very Poor - The building is either extensively fire damaged, partially collapsed, or is suffering from major structural problems. It may be totally or partially roofless, but retains a little more fabric than just the external walls. Very little of the interior remains.
Poor - The building has been vacant for a number of years and does not appear to be maintained. Most of the external fabric remains, but there are obvious signs of deterioration such as slipped slates, vegetation growth, broken windows, vandalism, or blocked rainwater goods.
Fair - The building is only recently vacant but there is no identified new use. Although previously well maintained, it now requires minor repairs. There are some signs of neglect.
Good - The building fabric is generally sound, and its overall condition does not necessarily place it at risk. However, it is under threat of demolition, or its future sustained use is in doubt.
The assessment of condition is solely the opinion of the Buildings at Risk Service.
Q: How do the buildings at risk service assign a category of risk?
A: A category of risk is assigned to buildings on the Register to describe the extent to which they are at risk. Because a building in a very poor state of repair may be subject to concerted attempts to rescue it, the assessment of risk is not always directly associated with condition.
The following criteria are used to assign a category of risk to buildings on the Register.
Critical - The building is threatened with demolition, and a real or perceived conservation deficit now makes rescue unlikely. It is suffering from an acute structural problem that could lead to full or partial collapse, and there is an immediate threat of further deterioration. It is an A-listed property in poor or very poor condition or a B-listed property in very poor condition.
High - There is no immediate danger of collapse but condition is such that unless urgent remedial works are carried out the building with sharply deteriorate.
Moderate - The building is in a fair condition but is deteriorating. There are concerns that the building could suffer further decay leading to more serious problems.
Low - The building is in fair or good condition, but there is a risk of slow decay. There is no identified new use for the building. Although there is a possibility of rescue, the condition of the building still gives cause for concern.
Minimal - The building is vacant but in good condition. A rescue package has been agreed, though not yet implemented. The category of risk is solely the opinion of the Buildings at Risk Service.
Q: Are buildings on the register safe?
A: The Service has not made a structural assessment from a public safety point of view. Due caution is recommended in all cases. Any safety measures that have been erected must be respected.
Q: Under what circumstances is a building removed from the register?
A: The Buildings at Risk Service maintains two secondary Registers; one for demolished buildings and one for buildings that have been saved. A building will remain on the main Buildings at Risk Register until it is brought back into active use or has been demolished. We will note if restoration works have commenced.
Q: What powers exist to protect buildings at risk?
A: A number of statutory powers are available to local planning authorities, designed to protect the built heritage. Some of the most commonly exercised are explained below.
Building Preservation Notices can be served on unlisted properties, granting them the same protection as listed buildings for a period of six months whilst they are assessed for listing. Urgent Works Notices can be served on vacant listed properties and allow the local planning authority to undertake emergency works such as the erection of supportive scaffolding or temporary roof structures.
Dangerous Building Notices can be served on both listed and unlisted properties, and require the owner to make safe or demolish a building that poses a threat to public safety.
Repair Notices can be served on both listed and unlisted properties, and specify those works considered reasonable and necessary for the preservation of a building, along with a time-scale within which these works should be completed. Failure to comply within the specified deadline may result in works being undertaken by the local planning authority, and a charge being made to the owner(s).
As a final measure, planning authorities can apply for a Compulsory Purchase Order if there has been a continued failure to comply with Repairs Notices served on a listed building. However, it should be noted that there is no statutory duty requiring planning authorities to implement any of the above.