Agenda Item No.











Cabinet approval was sought for the draft Planning Brief attached at Appendix 1 to the report.  The Brief had been prepared for the following reasons:


·                         to provide guidance to prospective purchasers in terms of the reuse and repair of the site

·                         to establish principles to be followed by the Council in the process of disposal.


Agreement to the marketing and sale of Old Place had previously been granted at Cabinet on 16th February, 2005 and 18th January, 2006.  A later report to Cabinet in October 2006 had provided an update on progress with the disposal.  In summary, it was advised that following consultation under Section 30(2) of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, Cadw had expressed concern over the sale of a nationally significant monument in public ownership without a better understanding of the prospects for repair and associated, updates costs.  For this reason, it had been resolved to withdraw the property from auction. 


With the benefit of an 80% grant, the original survey of the monument had now been updated, together with a prediction of the associated costs of repair.  The survey of the site had included a biodiversity assessment and had involved extensive clearance of vegetation to allow access for the survey of the ruins to take place. 


Discussions with Cadw regarding the future of the monument had concentrated on a range of options, i.e.


·                         'do nothing'

·                         undertake intermediate repair

·                         consolidate into an accessible ruin

·                         sale with an agreed Development Brief.


In consideration of each option, the first was not realistic in view of the high cost involved to the Council of supervising the site and maintaining the boundary fencing.  There remained a major risk to trespassers from falling masonry or structural failure of the ruinous walls.  In respect of the second and third options, it had been recognised that the costs identified would be prohibitively expensive for the Council to consider or for Cadw to give financial support by means of grant aid. 


Given these conclusions, Cadw was satisfied that the Council had up to date information on the condition of the monument and had considered the options available to it.  Therefore, it had agreed to the forth option, a planned disposal based upon a Brief. 

The draft Brief was attached at Appendix 1 to the report, and contained the following:


·                         a site description

·                         the history of the site and background to the proposed sale

·                         the condition of the building

·                         status of protection

·                         planning policy

·                         guidance on prospective repair and reuse

·                         advice on submissions for statutory consent

·                         prospective sources of grant aid.


It was noted that strict constraints applied in terms of planning policy in terms of the location of the site in the 'countryside' where there was a strong presumption against new development.  The reuse of the Monument was also constrained by its scheduled and listed status.  The Brief, therefore, proposed that the buildings be reused for not more than one dwelling with the potential for secondary, subservient accommodation (e.g. for elderly parents, office use/home working) or annexes.


The Chief Executive reported that the list of contacts in the Brief required amendment as Nick Lloyd was retiring from the Council.  The Cabinet expressed their thanks to Mr. Lloyd for his excellent work on conservation and related matters during his time with the Council.


This was a matter for Executive decision.


RESOLVED - T H A T subject to consultation with Planning Committee:


(1)       the contents of the Brief be approved as a basis for the disposal, repair and reuse of the building


(2)       the process to be followed in the disposal, as described in Appendix A to the Brief, be approved.


(3)       T H A T a further report be brought before Cabinet outlining the procedures to be followed in marketing the site.


Reasons for decisions


(1)       To assist in the disposal of the site and in order to provide suitable guidance on the Council's requirements for the repair and reuse of the building which is recognised as being of national importance in terms of its designation as a scheduled ancient monument and listed building.


(2)       To ensure that the site is sold to an interest with appropriate credentials to undertake the repair of the Monument in accordance with the strict requirements of the Brief and associated legislation.


(3)       To advise on the procedures to be followed in the marketing of the site.”




Attached at Appendix - Report to Cabinet: 29th September, 2010

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