Why are Darlington’s heritage assets important?
The Borough of Darlington is fortunate in having a large stock of important historic and architectural assets within its boundary. They are examples of structures remaining from historic periods. Buildings within the historic core of the town, especially around the Market Place and those associated with the early railways, are important to the town’s identity. Without such easily recognised ‘landmark’ buildings Darlington’s individuality as a place would be diminished and much of the tangible local history and heritage could be lost. They all contribute towards our understanding and appreciation of our ancestors and the traditional building methods, techniques and styles they have passed-down to us, as stewards for future generations.
Some areas of Darlington have seen modern buildings replacing our older building stock. Today’s modern buildings are the potential heritage for the future but historic buildings, once demolished, could only be reconstructed. In recognition of their importance many of these buildings and places have a formal designation that gives legal protection. For example many of Darlington’s buildings, dating from the 18th Century or earlier, are Listed Buildings or included within Conservation Areas. Other, more ancient sites are designated as Scheduled Monuments.
The role of the Council's Conservation Officer in the planning department is to protect the Borough's historic environment. This is done through management of proposed change to or within designated heritage assets (such as Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas and Scheduled Monuments) and through management of the location and form of new development, seeking high quality, good design in context, respecting the character and appearance of the area. Good conservation planning decisions make good places, good places are places where people want to live and good places are economically successful places. The Borough has many heritage assets, including over 540 Listed Buildings, 17 Conservation Areas and 20 Scheduled Monuments. Further information can be found by using the links below.
Pre-application advice is offered on proposals for change to Listed Buildings, to buildings within Conservation Areas and to buildings in the setting of Scheduled Monuments, to guide better applications.