The backdrop of Worthing’s listed building stock sets the scene for the
unique character and social history of our town. However, these landmark
buildings can come under threat from new planning initiatives,
inappropriate development or deterioration. In addition, many buildings
which are of local interest, but which do not meet the statutory listing
criteria, are particularly vulnerable and without adequate protection may
The Society therefore decided to be pro-active in this area and formed the
Listed Building and Conservation Areas Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee is
dedicated to monitoring the state of Worthing’s currently listed buildings
and identifying others which may be suitable for Statutory Listing or be
candidates for the Local Interest List.
We feel the best way to protect these heritage assets is to use the legal
measures which are already available, such as the Listed Buildings and
Conservation Areas Act 1990 and the Local Interest List. By ensuring that
each building is identified, assessed and entered on the most appropriate
list we hope to ensure that the maximum degree of protection is already in
place in the event that these buildings come under threat in any way. In
effect, the Sub-Comittee is creating a “Protected Heritage Map” of the
town which will already be recorded before any changes in planning law
come into effect.
In particular, we aim to maximise the number of submissions to the Local
Interest List, which is suitable for a considerable number of our historic
buildings. The Local List is an area which we would like to see developed
and given a much higher profile. In the future we aim to divide the town
into sections and carry out a “walking tour” to identify any further
buildings which may form part of our heritage and which so far have not
come to our atttention.
The Sub-Committee has also formed the Worthing Society’s own “Buildings At
Risk Register” to monitor the current state of the towns listed buildings.
We feel that by having a co-ordinated register, we are better able to
represent the extent of the problem to the relevant authorites. We have
established contacts with both English Heritage and our local Design and
Conservation Architect, with whom we hold regular meetings. One of our
Sub-committee members regularly atends the Conservation Area meetings at
the Planning Department.
The Sub-Committee has also been asked to participate in the Conservation
Area Review when funding is available from Worthing Borough Council. Three
new Conservation Areas are being considered.
We aim to continue the work of the Sub-Committee as an integral part of
the Worthing Society. By having this dedicated group we feel we can build
up the necessary technical expertise and relevant contacts to protect our
historic buildings and thereby the heritage environment of the town as a