Letter to the Wavertree Society, 30 October 2000:

The City Council's reply

(This letter was received the day after Newsletter 133 was printed)

From: The City of Liverpool
David Henshaw, Chief Executive

30 October 2000

Dear Mr Chitty

I refer to your letter of 8 July and your further letter of 12 October in respect of the above. I must sincerely apologise for the delay in responding to your original letter, this was due to an administrative error.  However, I have liaised with the relevant officers and would offer the following comments in relation to the points you raise:

1. A Section 106 Agreement has been executed between the City Council and the landowner, which deals with the demolition of the Sandown Hall and reclamation of a number of features.  The Landowner is in the process of agreeing a scheme for displaying/preserving the features. As you will be aware Sandown Hall has been demolished and the salvage of the features is now complete. The City Council is satisfied that the specified features were dismantled safely so as not to cause any damage and, are stored in a designated area on the adjoining playing field.

2. I can assure you that the City Council will take on board the Secretary of State's comments at paragraph 15 of his letter with regards to protecting listed buildings, within the financial constraints imposed on the Council. In the future these powers will be employed as and when they are deemed necessary to avoid any reoccurrence of the problems experienced at Sandown Hall. It is the Planning and Building Control Manager's intention to prepare a report for the December 2000 Planning Committee meeting which will update members on the current situation in relation to Sandown Hall and address the comments and findings of the Secretary of State.
3. The City Council had resolved to prosecute in relation to the deterioration in condition of the Hall, dependent upon evidence being available. In particular, the Treasury Solicitors carried out an investigation of this particular issue and were requested on a number of occasions to provide this evidence to the Council. This evidence was not forthcoming within the period available to the Council to prosecute and therefore, unfortunately, no further action was taken in this regard.

4. As you are aware, the City Council proposed to extend the Wavertree Village Conservation Area, to include Sandown Hall, via the development plan process. Indeed, the proposed extension is identified at Appendix B (Figure B6) of the Deposit Draft Unitary Development Plan. Unfortunately, due to the lengthy time-scale involved with the development plan process and the need for extensive consultation, the proposed extension has not yet been formally adopted and implemented. Once such an extension is formally adopted the City Council is likely to be in a better position to secure the preservation and enhancement of this and other Conservation Areas within the city.  This includes seeking support and funding from all available sources for the repair of buildings and environmental improvements.

5. I refer to point 2 above and can assure you that the City Council is committed to pursuing a more co-ordinated approach with regards to conservation and listed building issues throughout the whole of the city.

I trust the above comments provide an assurance that the City Council is committed to taking positive action to secure the preservation and enhancement of the City's historic buildings and environments, and will seek to prevent a reoccurrence of the problems experienced at Sandown Hall.

Kind regards.

David Henshaw


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