Andrew Mitchell MP has met with Tim Johnston, Planning Director for English Heritage in the West Midlands to discuss the status of Sutton Coldfield’s listed buildings and areas of conservation as well as establish how local residents and English Heritage can work together to protect them.
Mr Mitchell convened the meeting following correspondence from Baroness Andrews OBE, Chair of English Heritage, detailing the Commission’s role as the Government’s statutory advisor on the historic environment.
Andrew discussed with Tim numerous areas and buildings in Sutton Coldfield that English Heritage list as ‘designated historic places’ – for example, Newhall Mill on Wylde Green Road which is a Grade II* listed building and one of only two water mills still surviving in the Birmingham area.
Sutton’s MP also talked about English Heritage’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register’ which identifies the most endangered historic sites in England. Currently, Four Oaks Conservation Area and Sutton Coldfield High Street Conservation Area are on the Register, both listed as ‘deteriorating.’ Mr Mitchell discussed what could be done to further protect these areas. A site that is listed on the Risk Register becomes a priority in English Heritage’s grants programme.
Tim Johnston provided Andrew with detailed information on the recent Heritage Partnership Agreement for Sutton Park which is one of the first of its kind in the UK.
Andrew Mitchell MP said, “This was an informative and useful meeting. Preserving Sutton’s historic buildings and green areas is an issue of primary importance to me, as it is to many in Sutton.
“We already have an extremely active Civic Society, who are constantly engaged in the protection of Sutton’s heritage sites, and I look forward to welcoming English Heritage to partner with us in preserving and enhancing Sutton’s historic town centre, park and surrounding area.”
Photo: Andrew Mitchell MP with Tim Johnston and two local residents on High Street, Sutton Coldfield