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Suffocating conservation system leaves us grasping at longevity

What is the real purpose of listing buildings? We know by their survival in one form or another that our most precious pieces of historical architecture in the thousand-year class must already have survived for centuries without the aid of English Heritage and 'knowledgeable local authority conservation officers' (as they are soothingly described in The Times and elsewhere). But there is another side to this saga of salvation.

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