A confirmational telephone call was today conducted with the representative from Heritage England who is overseeing the Old Church property, Ms. Deborah Priddy.
The primary issues seen are to some extent related:
- The antisocial behaviour – including vandalism – needs to be controlled;
- The remoteness of the location makes monitoring difficult.
The tower itself is a Grade II* Listed Building, and the surrounding site is a scheduled monument. It was confirmed however that despite this, demolition is not out of the question and may be carried out without planning permission as a result of the “Mission and Pastoral Measure Act” of 2011.
Ms. Priddy was most helpful and forthcoming, and assured us that Historic England intends to continue working with Diocese, and would consider it wonderful if it could be managed as a ruin, but that given the issues related to the lack of on-site monitoring, would also consider that a conversion to a dwelling might allay that issue. It was acknowledged that to achieve that, there are other issues to overcome, including vehicular access and provision of utilities. Demolition therefore must not be ruled out as inconceivable, although it is seen as a last resort.