A PROJECT to help protect the landmark buildings most valued by the community has attracted a big response.

Residents were invited to choose their favourite landmark buildings and structures for protection in the future.

The choices include a set of punishment stocks in a churchyard, a staircase said to be based on the famous original in the Titanic, a former WWII D-Day planning room, the Meadows bandstand, a King George V coronation arch, a pub formerly a shelter for monks and travellers and another pub built for farmers who sold their livestock at market.

Also, a former threshing barn in Whitchurch, believed to be one of the oldest buildings in the village, a cottage which was linked to the former Anderton Mine, a striking house with bell tower and the wall alongside River Walk

The ‘people’s choice’ of heritage assets in and around Tavistock has been seen by the town council which is overseeing the project as part of its local development plan.

The architectural heritage survey is a way of involving the community in creating a permanent first-ever Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) which has a statutory standing in planning law. The NDP is designed to reflect the priorities of residents for the future development of Tavistock which regional planning officers and councillors and planning inspectors are obliged to take into account.

Tavistock Town Councillor Ursula Mann, who is leading the creation of the NDP, said: “People have told us they are very interested in preserving their their heritage of the area. We are looking at buildings and structures which are not already listed by English Heritage under the numbered grading system.

“The NDP is in an area covering a World Heritage Site which has buildings listed as assets ­— we therefore, don’t need to include these.”

She said: “The NDP steering group is not aiming to look after the future of grand buildings with great architectural or even historic value. What we want to hear and have heard is what people would miss in their surroundings if some landmark was not there any more. These tend to be older buildings and unusual unique buildings which make the environment and lanscape special for residents.”

Dr Sue Spackman, is supporting the NDP consultation. She works on the Exeter dioscesan advisory committee on heritage and said: “This list of heritage buildings and structures shows what people value about their surroundings and what makes Tavistock and Whitchurch special for them as somewhere to live and spend time.”

She explained the village stocks in Whitchurch Church were located there because the parish constables were employed by the parish which was overseen by the church. Therefore, punishments were under the jurisdiction of the church. Also, chosen by residents was Abbotsfield Hall at Abbotsfield, Tavistock. The large ‘villa’ style house (now a nursing home) is said to have a grand staircase, supposedly resembling the doomed famous Titanic’s. The building was built by Thomas Morris, the MD of Devon Great Consols Mining Company and hosted a D-Day planning meeting by Eisenhower and Montgomery. More details of the Tavistock Neighbourhood Development Plan: https://tavistockplan.info/