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About the Love Local Landmarks project

A ghost sign at 404 Mare Street
404 Mare Street

In accordance with advice given by the Government, Hackney Council keeps a list of heritage assets, such as buildings, post boxes and other built structures of local significance. The Council locally lists buildings, and other items, in order to give them the special recognition they deserve. It is a way of indicating to owners and local people that a building, mural, or piece of street furniture is of value to the local scene. The inclusion of items on Hackney’s local list is based upon their ability to satisfy a number of criteria set by the local authority.

Criteria for local listing in Hackney

  • Historical interest – has an association with well-known personality or event, and/or demonstrates the Borough’s history
  • Architectural interest – a good example of a particular style or period, or is designed by a well-known architect.
  • Environmental significance – makes a special contribution to the environment of a street or locality.
  • Aesthetic or artistic merit – this could include a building, mural or shop sign that ‘arrests the eye’.

The 2011-12 survey

In Hackney little was known about the borough’s 448 locally listed items, except that a high proportion were buildings located in Conservation Areas and dating from the Georgian and Victorian periods. Many of the borough’s significant 20th-century buildings were not included. Hackney’s Local List had not been reviewed since 1991 and, in fact, was no more than a list of addresses. Many elected council members, planning and conservation officers, developers and local people knew very little about the significance of these buildings and heritage assets.

In 2011, thanks to the hard work of the 35 project volunteers, these buildings, post boxes, gun posts and drinking troughs can now be easily identified. Each item on the list has been photographed, and given a short architectural description and reason for local listing. The Hackney Society also undertook some in-depth research on a selection of the most exceptional buildings, some of which we hope to put forward for statutory listing by English Heritage.

The survey has also identified many new buildings outside of Conservation Areas that we hope will be added to the local list.

Love Local Landmarks has been a partnership project between The Hackney Society and Hackney Council. It has been part-funded by English Heritage and Discover Hackney.

The national context

Local authorities are responsible for the care and conservation of locally listed buildings, but they have little statutory power to protect them from demolition, decay or neglect unless they are located in a conservation area or are in residential use. On a national level these buildings are poorly documented despite the important contribution they make to the character, distinctiveness and identity of our villages, towns and cities. The Hackney Society hopes by writing a case study for Greater London the profile of locally listed buildings will be raised – both locally and nationally.

We would like to see these buildings and other heritage assets given the due consideration that they deserve in the planning process. We hope that in the future more will be done to ensure greater retention of these buildings by the development of legislation that is more in keeping with the protection afforded to buildings within Conservation Areas. We hope our case study will provide useful information to other local authorities who intend to either review or create a local list in their area.

A Love Local Landmarks Tool Kit is available for organizations considering their own volunteer-led project to update a local heritage list. Click here for more details.

Hackney's locally listed buildings

Find a building on the map!