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Heritage Briefing Note | hayleharbour.com

 

Heritage Briefing Note

In respect of the hybrid planning application at South

Quay & Foundry Yard, Hayle Harbour

Application Reference PA/08142

Submitted for Information Purposes Only

(July 2011)

© Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture Ltd 62 British Grove, Chiswick, London W42NL Tel: 020 87485502 – Fax 020 87484992

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Heritage Briefing Note

As consulting heritage advisers to the team preparing the redevelopment proposal for South Quay, we have been working on the understanding the site’s significance, in the context of its contribution to the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape and to regional and community values, in order to inform the revised design proposal. Our work will culminate in a heritage statement incorporating PPS5 issues and a Heritage Impact Appraisal as required by ICOMOS for applications relating to World Heritage Sites.

This ongoing process, which spans from historical research to consultation with stakeholders and team’s work and discussions, has so far produced a number of fruitful outcomes.

 

• A detailed chronology that associates the historical facts scattered over a broad array of bibliographic sources, organising the sequence of events by correlating dates, place, connection to Harvey or Copperhouse (or others) and by the characteristic of the event (industrial or trading).
• Better understanding of the contribution of the Harbour to the OUV (Outstanding Universal Value) of the designated World Heritage. Little is left above ground on South Quay that reflects the importance and scale of enterprises that this port witnessed. The historical and morphological analysis of the South Quay site revealed a history of continuous change and adaptation to the pragmatic needs of the Harvey Foundry based on trade, export and import. The team recognises the importance of protecting the World Heritage Site’s Outstanding Universal Value and inclusion of Hayle in the Inscription. However, ICOMOS guidelines highlight that not everything within the WHS contributes to OUV (and Policy HE9.5 of PPS5 states the same) and “balanced and justifiable decisions about change depend upon understanding who values a place and why they do so”. Moreover “it may be necessary to balance the public benefit of the proposed change against the harm to the place”.
• Understanding the significance of slipways has thus become important, and the process is ongoing. From 1818 to 1907 (and possibly beyond into the shipbreaking era upto 1950s) the western side of the quay was reshaped to accommodate and reconfigure new slipways and the Carnsew Dock. The slipways were infilled in ca. 1969. In spite of the redundant use of South Quay as a commercial port (and with disregard to ownership constraints and unlikely viability of reinstating a meaningful commercial maritime use for the site), English Heritage has demonstrated interest in unearthing and perhaps permanently exposing the redundant, currently infilled, slipways. However, the reinstatement of the buried slipways is not a statutory requirement. In order to assess the condition of the remains, new trench

© Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture Ltd 62 British Grove, Chiswick, London W42NL Tel: 020 87485502 – Fax 020 87484992

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archaeological investigations were undertaken in June 2011; these are the subject of a separated briefing note. The excavations have revealed that the timber revetments that destoyed the earlier stone walls of the quay when installed, are decayed beyond the point of preservation. It is not, therefore possible to exspose the remains in any meaningful manner. Reconstruction is not advocated by ICOMOS or English Heritage in such circumstamces. The exsiting remains would be better preserved in situ by re-burying. As is the standard archaeological procedure.

 

• Recognizing the heritage benefit of reinstating sluicing. A study of the historical development of the sluices in the UK reveals that if the sluicing mechanism were to be restored in Hayle at Carnsew Pool, this would be the only historically authentic and most complete operable sluicing system in the country. Most sluices are now reduced to non-operable fragments and others, when operable, are computerised and automated, or require supplementary dredging such as the sluice in Bristol (1832), automated in 1988.
• Ongoing consultations have been taking place in order to understand “who values a place and why they do so” as well as “who benefits from the proposed changes and for what reasons” as recommended by ICOMOS guidelines for Cultural World Heritage Properties. The key Stakeholders identified and consulted on a regular basis, through a series of team workshops and liaison group meetings are: Cornwall Council, Hayle Town Council, Hayle Harbour Trust, Save Our Sands, Hayle Harbour User Group, Hayle Residents Association (Local Fishermen and leisure boat users, Shopkeepers, Other individuals), English Heritage, ING Real Estate.
• The benefits of achieving a better physical connectivity with Foundry Square has been recognised and taken into the design of the new proposal by opening up the currently enclosed Isis Garden (and by implementing the necessary traffic and highway management measures). This will improve the heritage site and enhance its appreciation by the community and the public at large.
• The respect of the industrial character of the site has been achieved by envisaging structures, construction materials and landscaping which reflect, in terms of mass, scale, height and texture a more industrial language without resorting to pastiche.

© Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture Ltd 62 British Grove, Chiswick, London W42NL Tel: 020 87485502 – Fax 020 87484992

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