Rescue package for derelict country hall

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A DERELICT manor that was all but destroyed by a major fire could be preserved in a bid being put together by North Kesteven District Council.

The Grade II listed Nocton Hall and grounds are considered to be of significant historic importance within the wider estate village of Nocton, which is a conservation area.

It was built as a country house in 1841 on the site of earlier high status houses for Frederick John Robinson, First Earl Of Ripon who was Prime Minister and was occupied in both wars and used as an RAF Hospital.

The hall and neighbouring hospital site has stood derelict since the mid 1990s and was substantially damaged in a fire in 2004, later made worse by the earthquake in 2008. The sites were bought by Leda Properties from the Ministry of Defence in 1999 but nothing has been done.

In a report to the executive board by corporate director Karen Bradford to be considered tomorrow (Thursday) she says the future of the hall remains worryingly uncertain and if action is not taken to arrest the decay it may be lost forever. Necessary urgent works to the property have been estimated at £193,554. Due to a shortfall in funding, the council has now looked into a longer term strategy jointly funded with English Heritage.

Officers are recommending the authority restore the service wing of the house and retain the main building as a ruin. The service wing could be a house, or used by a caretaker or provide a community space or heritage visitor centre. Some development could be allowed to pay for consolidation of the ruin and grant funding would be sought to the site into a tourist attraction with the grounds restored. Leda Properties would be asked to come up with a new development brief for the area and keep the community appraised of progress.