Historic Building Intervention Programme
The Historic Building Intervention Programme was set up to help and advise property owners of traditional buildings within the Outstanding Conservation Area of Banff.
Within Banff, a wide variety of buildings dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries can be seen, reflecting the historic character of the town. Many of these properties are in multiple ownership, vary greatly in height, are of mixed use, and some are vacant. Properties in the centre of town are fronted on to either narrow pavements or busy roads.
These factors combined make it difficult for property owners to prevent deterioration of their buildings through simple tasks like removing vegetation from stonework or clearing out gutters. Without proper maintenance, damp and decay caused by blocked, sagging and damaged gutters can lead to expensive repair bills and the loss of historic fabric.
The Historic Buildings Intervention Programme proposed in its first year, to undertake the removal and spraying of vegetation from stonework and roofs, along with cleaning out of gutters, as a means of reducing the deterioration of buildings. A pilot scheme was set up to assess the feasibility and take-up of the Programme, on a trial area consisting of Low Street, High Street, Straight Path and Back Path. The work was done to the front and rear of properties, where accessible, by a qualified contractor. The work was carried out over a two week period in August 2010. This minimised disturbance to the seagull population, but at the same time maximised the impact on vegetation by removing and spraying within the growing season.
The work was offered free of charge during the pilot scheme. On the basis that it is more economical to undertake the work on a large scale the aim being that in future the work would be financed by the property owners and be carried out at least once a year. Discussion continues with local community groups that following this pilot scheme, that the Historic Building Intervention Programme can continue to operate and be delivered by and for the community to secure the proper maintenance of the historic environment of Banff.
The main objectives of the programme
- To help prevent further decline of the historic building stock within Banff
- To raise awareness of the historic built environment of Banff
- To educate and advise property owners about the maintenance of their historic property
- To improve the appearance of Banff town centre, making it more appealing to locals and visitors alike
- To set up and finance a programme of intervention works, to become self-financing in future through property owner contributions