§ Baroness Jeger
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What progress has been made in the restoration of the Grade 1 Palladian mansion and the grounds of Heveningham Hall and public access thereto, in accordance with the conditions imposed on its sale by Her Majesty's Government to private ownership in 1981.
§ Lord Hesketh
: The terms of the sale did not include any conditions relating to the restoration of the Heveningham Hall itself. As the noble Baroness may be aware, the owner has recently completed structural and external repairs to the east wing, following the 1984 fire, and will be proceeding with interior restoration work, subject to listed building consent as necessary.
Start of work on the tree planting scheme which, under the conditions of the sale, the owner was required to use best endeavours to carry out, has been delayed by the need to assess the effects of this year's storm damage and to clear the areas of the grounds affected.
The requirement to open the principal ground floor rooms and the gardens for a minimum of 30 afternoons between March and October inclusive was complied with last year. I understand that they will be open this year throughout August; that the gardens have been substantially tidied up and replanted, with further work planned; and that the orangery (restored earlier under the conditions of sale) has been further repaired and redecorated.