South Cambridgeshire’s character is largely shaped by its heritage, with over one hundred villages set within a range of landscapes. Villages stand out in the landscape, with a variety of forms which respond to their locations such as at the edge of Fens or on hilltops or valley sides. The diverse landscapes include the distinctive Chalklands, rolling Clay Hills to the south and the wide expanses of the Fens to the north. Associated with these are a range of historic buildings and structures with many beautiful buildings already having been Listed.
People have lived and worked in the area since Palaeolithic times and the evidence of their lives is all around us. It can be found in the historic villages and landscapes and as archaeological remains beneath our feet. Roman roads, remains of medieval field systems, Gothic churches, Georgian parkland, nineteenth century model farms and twentieth century schools are just some examples.
Traditional farm, food-processing and industrial buildings are also characteristic, and the varied geology is reflected in traditional materials such as brick, tile, clunch and clay batt. Old pubs are also a feature of the villages.
However, this project is to encourage looking beyond the already recognised national tier to the so far perhaps “unsung” features that also contribute particular meaning and value to local communities or the local historic scene.
There is currently no list of locally important structures within South Cambridgeshire (although NDHA's are identified through other Supplementary Planning Documents such as Conservation Area Appraisals and Neighbourhood Plans). It is an ambition in the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan to adopt a Local List of Heritage Assets. The Cambridgeshire Local Heritage List Project has enabled the District to pilot the process of putting forward candidates for local listing. It is aimed that the District's formal adoption process will be confirmed by the end of this project in order to formally adopt the candidates that have come forward.
It is anticipated that each District list will remain an open and active document. They are not exhaustive and further candidates for Local listing will continually come forward. They will allow for change and loss to be recorded and for new assets to be discovered, or existing assets reassessed, should more information come to light. These will not include everything that could be potentially listed, and new candidates for local listing are likely to come forward in the development management process. We actively encourage members of the public to continue to put forward candidates.