Parish councillors have opted not to seek to impose ‘listed building’ status on a decaying manor house in their village.
Dr Mostafa Morsy, owner of Heckington Manor, on Cowgate in the village, is applying for planning permission to demolish it as he has struggled to safeguard it from vandals since it closed as an alcohol dependency clinic in 2002.
Attractive leaded windows have been smashed, graffiti scrawled, and pipes and fittings, including a fireplace, have been ripped out. Dr Morsy says it has fallen into such a state it would be too costly for a prospective buyer to repair and its two acre grounds were worth more as building land. It is now on the market for £1m having deteriorated from a value of £3m.
A manor house since Tudor times it had been an orphanage in the 1950s and an elderly care home in the 1960s until bought by Dr Morsy to become the Ferdowse Clinic in 1978. He showed The Standard around to highlight how it had become a magnet for ant-social behaviour: “I love the building but for the sake of the neighbourhood and safety I want to demolish it to be developed for decent houses.”
At Monday night’s parish council meeting members opted not to apply to have it listed by English Heritage. Coun Pat Banister said the restrictions could double the cost making it prohibitive.
Coun Banister said: “We do not want to see it go as it is a historic building, but to list it would write its death notice.”