§ Lord Craigton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What action they can take to preserve the 1891 Grade I listed Buildings of Holloway Sanatorium, Virginia Water, now falling into disrepair.
The Earl of Caithness
Section 101 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, enables a local planning authority, if they consider that works are urgently necessary for the preservation of a listed building, to carry out those works themselves after giving notice of their intention to the owner. The Secretary of State has similar powers, but in England he would authorise the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission to exercise them on his behalf. It is our view that works carried out under Section 101 should be limited to those which are necessary to make a building wind and weather proof and to protect it against vandalism.
Where more extensive and permanent repairs are necessary to secure the proper preservation of a listed building the Secretary of State or the local planning authority may serve a repairs notice under Section 115 of the Act. If the specified works are not carried out within two months of the issue of the notice the Secretary of State or the authority may institute proceedings to compulsorily acquire the building under Section 114. The Secretary of State would use these powers himself only in exceptional cases.
We understand that the Royal Holloway Sanatorium has recently been acquired by a private company and it is expected that applications for planning permission and listed building consent to convert the buildings for residential use will be made to the local planning authority, Runnymede District Council, within the next few weeks. Before these applications are submitted the applicants will be discussing their proposals with the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission and the Victorian Society.
We hope that an appropriate solution for the building will be found.