To consider a report on Trafalgar Mill.
To draw to the attention of the Executive the deteriorating condition of the Grade II Listed Trafalgar Mill and to seek authorisation to serve an Urgent Works Notice under Section 54 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 in order to secure emergency works to an unused part of the building which has recently suffered a roof collapse above a section of public walkway.
Reason for decision
The LPA has a statutory responsibility for administering the planning system and for the preservation of listed buildings in exercising these powers. As such there is a clear public expectation that the LPA should act in the interest of listed buildings at risk in their areas.
In the case of Trafalgar Mill, it is evident that the building is being allowed to deteriorate to the extent that that its condition is compromising its preservation. Part of the building is in an advanced state of deterioration and is open to the elements and it is therefore essential that it is secured and made weathertight and safe through urgent temporary works in order to limit further decline and safeguard the pedestrian walkway beneath. This would provide further time for the Council to consider the options for the permanent repair and long term future of the building such that it can make a positive contribution to the social, economic and cultural life of the area.
There are specific statutory powers available to LPAs to take action in building at risk situations and it is their duty to have regard to exercising these powers should the need arise.
On this occasion, relying solely on negotiation with the owner to secure the necessary works is not considered to be a suitable alternative to exercising the Council’s powers. Despite over two years of negotiations the owner has not taken any positive steps towards protecting the building from further deterioration. Accordingly it is considered that failure to take prompt action will lead to the eventual collapse of the structure, resulting in the loss of the integrity of the listed building and its contribution to the special interest of the conservation area. In the interest of this nationally significant building, this is not a recommended option.
An amendment to recommendation (d) to remove the word `not` was accepted
That approval be given to :
a) Delegate authority to the Strategic Head of Economy and Growth to Serve an Urgent Works Notice under Section 54 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 on the owner of Trafalgar Mill.
b) In the event of the authority having to appoint contractors to undertake the works in the default to approve a budget of £39,900 to cover the costs of an Urgent Works Notice to be funded from the Town Centre and Canalside Masterplan Budget and where eligible, for costs to be recovered through a grant from Historic England as set out in section 9 of the main body of the report.
c) In the event of the Authority having to appoint contractors to undertake the works in default, Delegate Authority to Head of Legal and Democracy to take the necessary steps under Section 55 of the Act to recover the costs of the works specified in the Urgent Works Notice from the owner of Trafalgar Mill.
d) Delegate authority to the Strategic Head of Economy and Growth to resolve to use powers under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 in circumstances where building control wish to serve a dangerous structures notice under Section 77 of the Building Act 1984.