Trentham Hall could be left to rot after repair costs deemed too expensive
A GRADE-II listed building in need of urgent repair work may be left to decay after redevelopment costs came in at an estimated £35 million.
The 180-year-old Trentham Hall, in Trentham Gardens, has once again been named on English Heritage's 'at risk' register.
Planning permission for the landmark building, which is owned by St Modwen, has been granted to redevelop the site as a conference hotel.
But St Modwen says the cost of repair is too high.
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It means the building will have to remain in its current state.
Mike Herbert, North Staffordshire regional director at St Modwen, said: "We have planning approvals for the restoration of Trentham Hall but the cost of doing so is significantly greater than its current value.
"To restore and rebuild it would cost around £30-£35million, but the current value as a hotel is well below that. Therefore, it is just not economically viable in the current economy.
"However, we hope that this will improve and we continue to look proactively for positive viable solutions to restore these structures."
Trentham Hall was built on the estate in 1833, and was the principal residence of the Duke of Sutherland, George Granville Leveson Gower.
The main hall was demolished in 1913, although the remaining walls and outbuildings are a focal point of the Gardens, with the building's stables and nearby cottages still well-preserved.
Stafford Borough Council outlined Trentham Hall as one in a list of buildings in 'urgent need of repair' in a recent study of the Trentham Conservation Area appraisal.
The report also said the condition of the area's listed buildings, which include Park Drive Cottages, three listed bridges and the garden hut, will be continued to be monitored on a regular basis.
While the authority has the power to serve Urgent Work Notices when necessary, it confirmed no action has yet been taken.
Mr Herbert added: "The remnants of Trentham Hall and the Park Drive Cottages were in a derelict condition when we bought them and, while they are on the Buildings at Risk register, we carry out routine maintenance to prevent further deterioration. The Park Drive bridge was extensively repaired by British Coal before our ownership and apart from having to repair occasional mindless vandalism, no further works are needed."
Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said: "Grade II-listed buildings are the bulk of the nation's heritage treasury. So when one of them is lost, it is as though someone has rubbed out a bit of the past. Something that made the area special will have gone. But now, with the economic climate putting more pressure than ever on these buildings, it is time to plug the one remaining gap."