Grand Designs

Andrew Higson andrew-higson at
Fri May 25 10:56:53 BST 2007

Did anyone else see the Grand Designs programme on More 4? A couple had bought a derelict castle in North Yorkshire - when I say derelict, it made restoring Fountains look like a breeze. Because it was a listed monument, our friends English Heritage were involved and listed monument permission was required to do anything to it. Mr Halsey (I think) was interviewed about the scheme and came across with the message of rather not doing anything than trying to preserve it even though it was falling down and the purchasers were saving it from complete ruin. It took them 4 months to give permission, during which time, because the site had been cleared up a bit, there was further collapse. This according to EH was a substantial change to the fabric and the planning application had to be redone from scratch!


Also, EH insisted that an archaeologist was employed in case anything was turned up in excavating the grounds; that cost £20K with no hint of financial assistance from EH. 


The local EH officer was very good, although they dreaded his visits in case he made them redo anything and he had to inspect after each phase which caused delays.


The end result was well worth their effort, but I sympathised with their struggles. 


Knowing the way that these programs get repeated I expect it will be on again and recommend you watch it.




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