Preserving our buildings for future generations

Cllr Dick Wolff at the James Street Tavern, which he wants to see on the register. Picture: OX66748 Damian Halliwell

Cllr Dick Wolff at the James Street Tavern, which he wants to see on the register. Picture: OX66748 Damian Halliwell Buy this photo

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

AN EAST Oxford pub is the latest building to be added to a list of buildings that could be safeguarded for their historic importance.

Since last year the public were encouraged to recommend buildings to be put forward for the city council’s Heritage Assets Register.

There have now been about 50 nominations for locations across the city, including the James Street Tavern, in James Street, off Cowley Road.

Green city councillor Dick Wolff said he was nominating the pub because of its noteworthy architecture.

He said: “The pub has a wonderful frontage with gold lettering, black tiles and bay window, so I am putting the building forward for its distinctive appearance.

“You would hope that if a building is on the register it would have added protection from demolition or development, but that’s not foolproof, there are no guarantees.

“By and large, planning applications are dealt with by planning officers and I hope that if a building is nominated for the register, planning officers would pick up on this.

“They could then refer the application to councillors for consideration on a committee.”

He added: “I think the James Street Tavern is a great community pub with good local real ales.

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“I don’t think all pubs will make it on to the register by virtue of being pubs – they will have to have a distinctive appearance, too.

“If people want to try to preserve a building in the area they should nominate it now for the register.”

Manager of the Greene King-owned pub, Rui Resende, said: “We welcome the councillor’s efforts on our behalf because this is a community pub with lots of local people who drink here.

“Some pub companies sell off pubs to property developers and once the buildings have been turned into homes you can’t get them back.

“It’s nice to be nominated and it would be great if the pub is eventually included on the register.”

The James Street Tavern used to be called the Red, White and Blue. There was an extensive revamp in the early 1960s when former Oxford City footballer Maurice Charlton was landlord of the pub, then part of the Morland brewery.

Nominees bid to join successful applicants

A TOTAL of 46 buildings have been nominated for the Heritage Assets Register.

Among those in East Oxford are the Chester Arms pub, in Chester Street, and 9 Green Street, the former bookbinders.

thisisoxfordshire:

The Chester Arms, in Chester Street 

The former bakery and bakehouse at 16 Chester Street has also been put forward.

In Headington, 14 Holyoake Road, the former home of CS Lewis, author of the Narnia series of books, has been nominated, and in West Oxford the former Oxford Power Station in Arthur Street is a possible contender.

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9 Green Street, East Oxford  

In July last year, Oxford greyhound stadium in Sandy Lane was the first building to be added to the council’s register.

According to the city council’s assessment, the stadium is “a rare feature in Oxford’s historic landscape”.

thisisoxfordshire:

Oxford greyhound stadium, Sandy Lane         

The only other building that has been officially added to the register is 333 Banbury Road in North Oxford, formerly a Masonic Hall conference centre.

thisisoxfordshire:

333 Banbury Road, North Oxford              

Of this building, the city council says: “The presence of surviving examples of these villas makes an important contribution to understanding the origins of Summertown as a distinct settlement with a particular social character as the home of wealthy tradesmen.”

WHAT THE REGISTER MEANS 

  • THE planning system requires the city council to consider the impact a development would have on a heritage asset and to weigh these against the proposed benefits of the scheme.
  • Heritage assets are different to community assets, which also highlight the importance of a building to its local area but give it a legal status allowing local groups powers to buy them.
  • Communities have no such powers over heritage assets.
  • The Heritage Asset Register is not a government scheme, but was introduced by the city council and funded by English Heritage.
  • The council is working on four trial studies in West Oxford, East Oxford, Summertown and Blackbird Leys.
  • The list of nominations does not represent a recommendation for or against their inclusion on the Heritage Assets Register and the list is expected to change over time.
  • For further information, visit oxford.gov.uk

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