I’m happy today to host on Italian Bark blog today Stacey, a Scottish writer who will will tell us about her country and how to deal with historical buildings.Lot of common with italy in this sense I would say…;)
There was a time, much to the anger and disappointment of many, when owners of historic buildings could make major changes to the structure without a penalty, and there have been many cases over the years of locations being stripped of most of their aesthetic beauty. To some of us, this seemed to be little more than vandalism.
Thankfully common sense has prevailed in most nations now, and our heritage is protected from the whims of well-meaning individuals who may be unaware of the damage they were about to inflict. Our historic properties, whether they are private homes, public buildings or commercial ventures deserve all the protection they get.
One of the issues that had created problems in the past was a need for us to expand. The historic shops, civic amenities and homes in towns and cities all over the UK and beyond were simply not big enough, and that is why so many owners chose to make changes that, in many cases, simply could not be reversed later on.
While this problem was felt all over Great Britain, it was especially acute in Scotland. In Edinburgh and Glasgow in particular, there are vast numbers of buildings that are now thankfully listed and protected, and any alterations to them will need to pass strict tests before they are allowed to be put in place. This has to be a good thing.
If the authorities are not happy, you will not get the permission you need
For owners, it is important to create space in the building without making it look any different, especially on the outside. While there is a need to expand, it simply cannot be done unless the relevant authorities are in full agreement to it. And, crucially, they will say an instant no if they feel the project will turn out to be in any way detrimental.
It goes without saying that this whole process is not only a factor in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Places like Dundee, Aberdeen and Stirling are also home to a great many historic buildings, as you will expect from a part of the UK that has borne witness to a great deal of rich heritage over the years. Thank goodness much of it is still there.
In the coming months, years and decades, a great many vital decisions will be taken by the powers that be about the way our towns and cities can look. Their thoughts will often be influenced more by the need to protect than a desire to expand, and that is why owners need to think long and hard about any changes they may want to make.