At least £350,000 needed to fix Bedford Hall

Bedford Hall

At least £350,000 will be needed to fix Bedford Hall, according to Thorney Parish Council.

The Parish Council discussed the future of the building this week, having received some reports on its condition.

Peterborough City Council, which owns Bedford Hall and is responsible for the maintenance of the listed building, wants to give the building to the village, but that means we would also be responsible for repairs.

The City Council has said it will use monies from the sale of the old Church Street Community Centre to fund repairs and also the move of the library, but the Parish Council is concerned the sale will not raise enough.

The Parish Council is still waiting for a formal letter confirming exactly what the City are offering in respect of the building and have said that no further discussion will be held until they have that letter.

This is the full text of the Parish Council’s statement regarding Bedford Hall:

BEDFORD HALL, THORNEY 9 January 2018. – Thorney Parish Council comments on Survey Information and Library Relocation Proposals received on 4 January 2018 from Caroline Rowan, City Council SURVEY (Refs: 23-27-8-3-1006 December 2017 + 23-27-18-3-1006)

Our initial reaction to these building surveys and the additional information they contain is a concern that this historic, listed building has been so neglected and allowed to fall into such a state of disrepair. We are also concerned by the number of items needing attention particularly as many of them are given Condition Rating ‘C’ ( Exhibits major or multiple defects) or ‘D’ ( Life expired, Exhibits major deterioration, Serious risk of imminent failure).

We note the overall costs of these works (excluding mechanical and electrical works) is estimated to be £176,660. As to some extent the survey is rather superficial, it seems likely that the closer inspection and testing suggested in the survey for a number of items will increase this cost.

Is it proposed that this closer inspection/testing is put in hand in order that a more accurate assessment is made of the building’s condition with the estimate revised accordingly? We believe the only way to establish what the real costs may be would be by putting these works out for tender and including a contingency for extras as the work progressed.

LIBRARY ( Hanson Barron Smith drawings HBS -DR-B 01 + HBS – DR – B 02) Either arrangement seems satisfactory. We assume they both have the approval of Vivacity.

Both show a point of access but no alternative means of escape is indicated for either – does this comply with current regulations?

We assume the budget costs ( £93,000 to £108,000) are for the refurbishment of either Unit 3 or 5 only and do not include for any mechanical or electrical infrastructure to the other areas in this rear part of the building e.g. heating, lighting, smoke detection, fire alarm system etc.

Can it be confirmed whether or not any basic works will be carried out to the parts of this building not allocated to the Library. It is possible that the proposed village referendum to determine the future of the Bedford Hall may indicate a preference for the funds to be allocated to other works to the building rather than a library.

GENERAL The costs allocated as above to the survey works and the library total £284,660. If the forecast costs in the mechanical and electrical survey (M+E Condition Survey Report 17 February 2017) are added to this (£59,017) the total increases to £343,677. This figure not only exceeds the monies that are expected from the sale of the City Council’s Church Street property but probably does not present the Parish with a fully usable building.

We query how this monetary shortfall will be dealt with and how those areas of the rear building will be refurbished rather than left in their current run down and non-usable condition. We look forward to receipt of the City Council’s ‘Offer’ which we trust will be to offer this listed building in a complete state of repair and fit for use in its entirety with sufficient other proposals to make this an attractive and viable proposition for consideration in a referendum in the Parish.

We would be grateful if we can be provided with information regarding the organisation and supervision of a referendum together with an estimate of the likely cost.

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