Welcome to Corringham

 

Listing

Corringham was Grade II listed in 1998. English Heritage consider it an "exceptionally important" building of "special architectural interest". Corringham is one of the few post-war buildings to have been listed.

Why was Corringham listed?

In their listing documentation English Heritage describe the split-level scissor design of Corringham's apartments as ingenious and articulate, and as a successful application of a complex idea originally developed by the architects of London County Council. The brutalist service column and its contrast with the modernist exterior of the main building are considered bold, radical and rare in private blocks of flats. As a consequence, English Heritage decided that the interior and exterior of the building should be protected.

The listing procedure started in 1991. Corringham was thirty years old, the minimum age for a building to be considered for listing. Lisa Zaffern, one of Corringham's longstanding residents, recognised the architectural significance of the building and wrote to English Heritage to have it listed. English Heritage prepared a report for the Department of the Environment, who in those days had the final say about listing buildings. The report stated that Corringham ranked "among the half-dozen or so most interesting blocks of flats built in London in the first half of the 1960s".

At the end of 1991 English Heritage decided to earmark the building for listing but to postpone an actual listing application - quite possibly because it was felt that the Department of the Environment was not in favour of listing housing.

English Heritage officially recommended Corringham for listing in 1996. For a copy of the recommendation document (PDF 0.2Mb) click here. To view a copy of the 1998 official Grade II listing documentation (PDF 1.2Mb) click here.

What is listing?

A building is called listed if it is included in a register of buildings of special architectural or historic interest: the "list". This list is maintained by the government body, English Heritage, on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

When a building is listed, its interior and exterior are described in detail and the building is legally protected on the basis of these records. Any changes to it must first receive listed building consent from the local planning authority - which for Corringham is Westminster City Council (WCC). The local planning authority can approve minor changes to listed buildings, but it will seek the advice of English Heritage before authorising alterations that have a larger visual or structural impact.

Listed buildings are graded to show their relative importance. There are three main listing grades. Grade I listed buildings are of "exceptional interest". Grade II* listed buildings are considered "particularly important and of more than special interest", and a building is Grade II listed if it is of "special interest, warranting every effort to preserve it".

Listing is not intended to stop a building from being used, maintained, updated or even changed. Over 90% of applications result in permission being granted. Listing merely ensures that any alterations respect the character of the building.

Post-war listing

All buildings constructed before 1700 and most of those built between 1700 and 1840 are automatically listed because of their historic value. After 1840 the listing criteria become tighter because, since then, more buildings were erected, and most of them still exist today. According to English Heritage post-war buildings have to be "exceptionally important" to be listed.

Generally, a building has to be over thirty years old before it can be considered for listing. English Heritage started listing post-war buildings in 1987, and selected only 189 buildings until 1995. In that year it was decided to open up the listing of post-war buildings to public debate and consultation. Corringham was Grade II listed a few years later in 1998.