§ Lord Norrie
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they propose to exercise their right of pre-emption in respect of Heveningham Hall.
§ Baroness Blatch
The Secretary of State for the Environment has decided not to exercise his right to purchase Heveningham Hall. We fully recognise the outstanding importance of this Grade I building, and the need to maintain the integrity of the house, its decorative scheme and the grounds. But we firmly believe that these objectives should be met, where possible, by responsible private ownership. It is for the receivers to explore this possibility. The hall will remain subject to the full rigour of planning and listed building controls; and the outstanding restoration work to the house and grounds should be well within the capacity of a new owner, with advice from English Heritage and the local planning authority.