Guidance on proposing buildings and structures for the local list

The quality of our built environment is much more than listed buildings, and conservation areas. It is the larger number of unlisted historic and architecturally accomplished buildings that reinforces local distinctness and sense of place.

The council is keen to recognise this locally distinctive heritage and in doing so are preparing a local list of buildings and structures of architectural and historic interest, in the shape of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

The local list is a list of all buildings and structures within the borough, considered by the public and the council as having special local architectural or historic merit. They are considered to be of significance to the local community and to contribute to the environmental, social and cultural heritage of the borough.

Selection criteria

It is proposed that the creation of local lists would involve the application of the same criteria that is used by the Government and English Heritage for buildings that are on the statutory list, but from a local perspective.


  • Up to 1870 most buildings which are recognisable as belonging to historic periods will Qualify.
  • From 1870 to 1918 more selectivity is required because of greater numbers surviving.
  • From 1918 to 1945 even greater selectivity is required.
  • After 1945 only extremely good examples will be included.


Some types of buildings or building materials are extremely rare in the borough. For instance despite the widespread occurrence of coal mining in the borough only a few mining buildings remain, similarly buildings associated with the metal trades of Tyldesley, Atherton, Ashton and Orrell are now rare as are those of the engineering industries of Leigh and Wigan.

Architectural quality

  • Builders and architects using either characteristic or unusual architectural styles or materials.
  • The use of essentially local or vernacular materials and details.
  • How the form of buildings relate to specific functions.
  • Buildings illustrating the work of local or other architects.
  • Buildings whether detached, semi-detached or in terraces may have group value based on uniformity or with formal variations.
  • Buildings may contribute to townscape for instance by containing or enclosing attractive spaces or by responding to a particular location such as a main corner with a corner feature.

Historical interest includes

  • Rural settlement patterns including farms, hamlets and villages and the evolving pattern relating to agricultural improvement and the transformation of villages to suburbs or commuter settlements.
  • The buildings may define and illustrate periods of growth in the borough's towns; and the associated form and layout of town development.
  • Buildings and structures representing the industrial archaeology of the borough.
  • Buildings also illustrate the evolving forms of housing for different social groups especially in relation to size, layout, external spaces and decoration.
  • Various buildings are associated with the evolving patterns of local administration and services and entertainment.
  • The form, layout and details of farm buildings also evolved in relation to farming practices and estate policies.
  • Buildings associated with particular local people of note or historic events.

Degree of alteration

The significance of alterations for interest will vary between building types and locations. Often the form and fundamental character of buildings remains recognisable despite considerable changes.

Building types

Typical building types can be recognised for a range of uses.


  • Types include rural and urban vernacular houses, architect designed detached, semi-detached and terrace houses aimed at the middle and working classes with a range of three dimensional forms and levels of architectural quality and group character.


  • The borough's rich historic industries have produced an evolving range of characteristic buildings typified by the contrast between multi-storey spinning mills and single storey weaving sheds.
  • A number of rural smithies can still be identified and a small range of Atherton bolt works survive, as do engineering workshops at Wigan, Leigh and Tyldesley.

Farm buildings

  • A range of characteristic forms of threshing barns, hay barns, stables, cow shippons and cart and shelter sheds and granaries occur in the borough.


Types could include corner shops, shops formed in residential properties, purpose built parades of shops, local branches of regional or national retail businesses and co-operative central and branch premises.

  • Historic shop fronts are of special interest.

Community buildings

  • Churches, chapels and schools.
  • Town halls and civic buildings.
  • Park and cemetery buildings.
  • Cinemas, theatres, halls and swimming pools.
  • Public houses and hotels.

Transport buildings

  • The borough has a number of buildings and structures associated with canal, tram and railway transport.

Other structures

  • Bridges
  • War memorials
  • Industrial remains
  • Walls
  • Street furniture
  • Monuments
  • Signage
  • Lighting
  • Gates

Please complete the nomination form if you would like to propose a building or structure for inclusion on the Local List.

© Wigan Council