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Concern for moe than 100 buildings

PUBLISHED: 23:59 02 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:13 24 February 2010

HISTORIC buildings that have been left to rack and ruin and are in dire need of repair have been identified in a list published by the county council.

The publication of this "At Risk" register is designed to highlight the fate of over a hundred listed properties across the county in the hope that owners can be persuaded to pay for their restoration.

HISTORIC buildings that have been left to rack and ruin and are in dire need of repair have been identified in a list published by the county council.

The publication of this "At Risk" register is designed to highlight the fate of over a hundred listed properties across the county in the hope that owners can be persuaded to pay for their restoration.

Over 30 newly endangered buildings have appeared on the list since the last time one was compiled in 2000. These include the Church of St Michael in Ipswich, the former Sunday school in Holbrook, Moreton Hall School in Bury St Edmunds, and the Old National School in Beccles.

Mark Barnard, Historic Buildings Officer at Suffolk County Council, said: "The list is designed to draw attention to listed buildings which are in need of significant repair in the hope and expectation that owners can be persuaded to do something about them.

"Hopefully the list also makes owners of the properties realise that these buildings will not be forgotten by local authorities."

Although many buildings have been added to the register, a lot more have had adequate repair work in the last two years and have since been removed.

Mr Barnard feels that this points to the positive impact that publishing the list has had.

He said: "Since 2000 then we have lost about a third off the list because they have been successfully repaired, which is really quite encouraging.

"In addition to that there are a number of other buildings where repair work is in progress or is going to start in the next few months.

"The net change is that about 20 buildings have been taken off the register which certainly a step in the right direction."

Owners of historic buildings that need to be repaired can sometimes claim for grants, although Mr Barnard added that much of the money might be found after the property is converted for residential use.

He said: "The buildings are in need of repair for lots of different reasons, with the main one being that owners of properties that could be put to beneficial use who are unwilling or reluctant to restore or convert them.

"The list has enabled extra grants to be found that can offer money to owners in some cases but very often there is quite a strong financial incentive to fully restore listed dwelling buildings."

The county council has complied the register with the help of district and borough councils every few years since 1992. It now wants to make sure the list is kept updated on a more frequent basis.

Mr Barnard said: "What we are doing in the future is to put the actual database on the county council website and then we will be trying to keep it updated every six months because the list is changing all the time."

Ends


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