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Digital record to make demolition easier

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The government could make winning listed-building consent easier if the applicant is prepared to model the scheme through virtual technology.

Secretary of state for culture, media and sport Tessa Jowell has called on developers intent on demolishing listed buildings to make a computerised record.

The minister this week suggested that the use of such digital cinematography could form a precondition for listed-building consent.

Writing in Department for Culture, Media and Sport report Better Places to Live, Jowell said: 'When the choice is between obliterating a historic building so that nothing is left but the architect's drawings, and having a perfect digital record of every square inch, available for students and historians for all time, I know which I would rather have.'

She continued: 'It is inevitable that some of the buildings from the past will be lost, and lost forever. This is a high price to pay, but it does not imply that we lose all of their heritage. I think technology may suggest a way with dealing with this.

'Digital photography and cinematography now make it relatively easy - and increasingly affordable - to create a perfect 'virtual' moving image of a building, inside and out,' Jowell added.

by Rob Sharp

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