Heritage At Risk

Historic buildings at risk in the district are listed on a register to monitor their condition and ensure repairs are carried out when required.

Buildings at risk are historic buildings which have deteriorated. They may be redundant or unoccupied and under threat from dereliction, demolition or redevelopment.

We keep a register or these buildings within the district which includes buildings that require repair work or maintenance in order to preserve their fabric or appearance.

Many of these buildings are in one of the 35 Conservation Areas in the Lewes district.

Register Purpose

The register highlights vulnerable buildings and encourages appropriate works, re-use, conversion or renovation. Inclusion on the list is not a criticism.

The list helps highlight the extent and nature of the problem and the type of building most likely to be at risk. This informs decisions as to what positive action can be taken.

In some cases very little is known about the ownership or status of the buildings. All information contained is believed to be correct at the time of publication. Owners or interested parties are encouraged to contact us for further information and advice.


The ultimate responsibility for a historic building lies with its owner, however we have the authority to issue:

  • A Repairs Notice can be issued specifying the works necessary for the proper preservation of a listed building.
  • A Section 215 Notice can be issued specifying the works required (including planting, clearance, tidying, enclosure, demolition, re-building, external repairs and repainting) to a site or building where the amenity of an area is being adversely affected by the condition of neighbouring land and buildings.

If necessary we can intervene to carry out essential works and recover costs from the owner. Failure to maintain the building appropriately can ultimately lead to a Compulsory Purchase Order.

These powers are used reluctantly and it is in the best interests of all parties for work to be carried out voluntarily and before emergency work is required.


Our Register uses similar categories as established by English Heritage in the national Heritage at Risk Register.


The buildings are categorised according to the nature and degree of risk.

  1. Immediate risk of further rapid deterioration and/or loss of fabric. No solution agreed.
  2. Immediate risk of further rapid deterioration and/or loss of fabric; Solution agreed but not yet implemented.
  3. Slow decay; no solution agreed.
  4. Slow decay; solution agreed but not yet implemented.
  5. Under repair or in fair to good repair but no obvious user identified; or under threat of vacancy with no obvious new user (applicable only to buildings capable of beneficial use; often specialised buildings which have become functionally redundant).
  6. Repair Scheme in progress and (where applicable); end user identified.


The condition of the buildings is assessed as follows:

Good - Structurally sound and weather tight, no significant repairs required.

Fair - Structurally sound & weather tight, requiring minor repairs or showing signs of general lack of maintenance

Poor - Deteriorating Masonry and/ or leaking roof and/or defective rainwater goods. May be accompanied by rot outbreaks within and general deterioration of the building fabric; or where fire or other disaster has affected the building.

Very Poor - Structural failure/instability and/or loss of significant areas of roof covering leading to major deterioration of interior; or where there has been a major fire or other disaster which has affected most of the building.

Risk Category

The condition category and status are used to identify the risk category

  1. Extreme risk
  2. Grave risk
  3. At risk
  4. To be watched