§ Mr. Skeffington
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is satisfied with the existing machinery for preserving buildings and groups of buildings of both architectural and historical interest; and what steps are taken to prevent deterioration in buildings subject to a preservation order.
§ Mr. Rippon
My right hon. Friend is satisfied that the listing of buildings of special architectural or historic interest ensures an adequate opportunity for the local planning authority and for him to consider whether proposed works of demolition or alteration should be prevented by the making of a building preservation order.
The owner of a building subject to a preservation order cannot be compelled to keep it in good condition, and the only remedy may lie in purchase by a public authority. But if the owner finds the cost of repairs and maintenance too high a contribution from public funds may be made available to encourage him to secure proper preservation. Sometimes the local authority have proved able to help, or the building may be eligible for a "historic buildings" grant by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Works if it is of outstanding architectural or historic interest.