The Neighbourhood Plan (2017) concluded that Pyrford residents highly value the heritage and character of the local area in its semi-rural setting. In addition, we in Pyrford are fortunate to count a number of conservation minded residents who in recent years have made a significant investment in their heritage properties.
Since no heritage assessment (normally undertaken by WBC) had been possible since the millennium we wanted to review and assess heritage in the Forum area against the last WBC baseline established in 2000. In addition, it was felt that without a serious re-assessment of our heritage, there was a great danger that development plans and decisions could be made on outdated and inaccurate heritage information. Thus, at the 2018 AGM a conservation project was proposed and agreed.
At the 2019 AGM it was proposed we undertake a Heritage Conservation Assessment (HCA) in partnership with Woking Borough Council (WBC) and with consultants from LDA Design and Headland Archaeology to guide us.
The assessment will contain recommendations to recognise heritage assets not currently recognised, modifications to conservation areas and a heritage management plan moving forward. It must all be done according to the national requirements set out by Historic England and adopted by WBC for implementation according to normal council consultation standards. In summary the assessment will include landscape, townscape and heritage assessments backing up any recommendations.
Progress to Date
We are now about halfway through the project. We have broadly established ‘what is’ and are starting the detailed analysis to determine what ‘should be’. A number of deliverables from the former have kept us busy over the last 2 years and include the following heritage catalogues that can be found in the Heritage Project section of the PNF website at https://pyrfordforum.org/heritage-catalogues/:
- a bibliography of published histories covering Pyrford;
- notable local historians;
- old maps acquired by the Forum;
- a photo record of old maps found in Surrey History Centre to facilitate a map regression by our consultants;
- nationally registered buildings maintained by Surrey County Council Historic Environment Records (SCC HER);
- locally listed buildings by Woking Borough Council;
- nationally registered Parks and Gardens maintained by SCC HER;
- nationally registered Monuments maintained by SCC HER;
- Find Spots recognised by SCC HER;
- Negative Evidence recognised by SCC HER.
In addition, LDA our consultants, have completed an advanced draft of a Landscape and Townscape Assessment which will appear on the website as soon as it is available. Our consultants are also working on a technical heritage assessment for the area and all this information will form the basis of our recommendations to Woking Borough Council in due course.
Moving forward we are entering an active consultation phase on ‘what is’ and what ‘should be’. So, further newsletters will go out from time to time and your comments will be very much appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, we have recently set up an Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/pyrfordforum/ where we are showing heritage aspects of the area from our library of over 1800 photos. We would love to hear from you about any of the topics posted. Similarly, if you are a Facebook user you can follow us at https://www.facebook.com/PyrfordForum/