A manor house and former rehabilitation clinic for alcoholics which has stood empty and decaying for more than a decade attracting vandals, thieves and ghost hunters has finally been sold and could be saved from demolition.
Last year owner of Heckington Manor, psychiatrist Dr Mostafa Morsy, had put forward plans to demolish it claiming it had become a magnet for intruders which he could ill afford to defend against, having unsuccessfully tried to sell it for 14 years.
The property off Cowgate in the village had become a growing safety concern for police and North Kesteven District Council officials as well as being deemed a ‘building at risk’ by conservation experts.
But last week Dr Morsy confirmed the manor and grounds had been sold on June 12. It has been bought by Mark Elliott of BP Development, Lincoln.
Dr Morsy told The Standard: “They are going to renovate the manor and build houses in the grounds.”
This would be subject to gaining planning permission.
He said that the wood panelled staircase and stained glass window in the entrance hall were still largely intact and worth saving.
Workers with heavy machinery have been in the two-acre grounds in the last week stripping back the overgrown gardens to take an overview of the property while making the site more secure.
Dr Morsy said: “They didn’t want the same hassles that I have had with vandals and criminals getting in.”
Relieved, he said he was happy with the final deal despite getting a fraction of the property’s original value.
A manor house has stood on the site since Tudor times, although rebuilt later in Georgian style. It had been an orphanage in the 1950s and an elderly care home in the 1960s until bought by Dr Morsy who invested thousands of pounds to turn it into the Ferdowse Clinic in 1978, closing in 2002.
Dr Morsy has said previously he has spent thousands on maintaining boarding and fences trying to keep intruders out. He said copper piping and the lead roof had been stripped by metal thieves and several prospective buyers had previously withdrawn offers when enquiries to demolish the manor were met with disapproval.
He had warned the ceilings of the top and middle floors were on the verge of collapse due to water damage.
Chairman of Heckington Parish Council Jan Palmer commented: “We understand that there aren’t any definite plans at this stage, but we are pleased with such positive attention.”