Letter to David Henshaw, Chief Executive, 8 July 2000:

Our letter to the City Council

(This letter was sent following the Secretary of State's decision)

From: The Wavertree Society
Mike Chitty, Conservation Secretary

8 July 2000

Dear Mr Henshaw,



As a principal objector to the above proposal, which was the subject of a Public Inquiry in November 1998, the Wavertree Society has been sent a copy of the Government Office for the North West's decision letter (addressed to the owners' solicitors) dated 29 June 2000. This letter announces that the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions will be granting listed building consent for demolition, subject to a Section 106 Agreement to secure the salvage of various components of the building.

A number of questions arise out of the GONW letter and its accompanying Inspector's Report:

1. Paragraph 4 of the letter states that "since the close of the inquiry a Section 106 legal agreement has been executed between your clients and the City Council, to secure the salvage of the tripartite windows on the side elevations and the portico, the pediment and cornice on the south front of the building". May we please have details of this legal agreement? In particular, does it specify what will happen to the salvaged components of the building? Are they to be handed over to the City Council, or to some other body? May we have your assurance that the City Council will closely supervise the dismantling of the building, to ensure that the specified components are not destroyed or further damaged?

2. Paragraph 15 of the letter states that "the view is taken that the Hall may have been saved and a new use found for it had the City Council shown greater vigilance and commitment to use the powers available to them to at least protect the hall to prevent its deterioration". May we have your assurance that this criticism by the Secretary of State will be fully reported to the Council and that all practicable steps will be taken to avoid a recurrence?

3. Paragraph 6.12 of the Inspector's report - summarising the City Council's case at the 1998 public inquiry - states that: "It is the view of Council officers that the current owners were instrumental in the building's demise but the proper way to demonstrate that such action does not pay is to pursue a criminal prosecution rather than to withhold approval to demolish, which would disregard the building's current condition and economic realities. The Council have resolved to institute criminal proceedings ". May we please have an update of the situation regarding the proposed criminal proceedings?

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