Sunday, July 06, 2014

How the recession has hit Wales’ Heritage .

Local authorities are responsible for the protection of listed buildings within their locality. RCPT is a Building Preservation Trust with charitable status and is in a position to raise funding towards the purchase and restoration of Ruperra Castle and its outbuildings and gardens. However the Trust needs the support and help of the local authority with regards to issuing enforcement notices, repairs notices which could subsequently lead to a compulsory purchase order. 

In the event the Trust has already been told, by Caerphilly County Borough Council (CCBC), that it is not able to provide any funding for the legal costs involved in issuing enforcement notices which could help secure the ownership of the Ruperra Castle site. Repairs notices on listed buildings leading to the issue of a compulsory purchase order (CPO) need to be carefully drafted and require legal expertise, CCBC is not experienced in executing CPOs for buildings at risk in the county.

The Welsh Government via Cadw is responsible for the protection of the scheduled ancient monument (SAM) that is the castle. We are sure that the same problem of lack of money will be raised when we meet the Minister for Culture and Sport on July 28th 2014. 

It was acknowledged in reports by Cadw and CCBC in 2010 that the condition of Ruperra Castle and the 13 acre site has deteriorated significantly and is now in a critical state and is considered to be the most important building at risk in Wales. Britain as a whole may be in a recovery position, but in Wales, Welsh Heritage is at risk and in a downwards spiral.

We are in danger of losing forever a jewel of Welsh 17th century architecture, which apart from its intrinsic importance, could be used for public benefit to provide employment and countrified enjoyment in a most beautiful and historic part of Caerphilly Borough. Ownership of the site would allow RCPT to obtain funding from public funders who cannot help RCPT at present.

If there are any philanthropic benefactors reading this account, it would be good to know that they are willing to help with the initial stages of the people’s takeover, namely legal fees.

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