On my doorstep in north Manchester is Heaton Hall in Heaton Park - designed in 1772 by James Wyatt. The Grade Ilisted Heaton Hall and its Grade II*-listed lodges and temple are on the English Heritage Register of Buildings at Risk 2003.
Heaton Hall is owned by Manchester City Council. If local authorities do not maintain listed buildings in council ownership, they are not in a position to demand that private owners of listed buildings maintain their private properties.
Given the case of Heaton Hall, it is clear that any responsibility for decisions about consent for work on listed buildings should be removed from local authorities and handed to English Heritage (see ‘City warns of conflict of interest in listing review’, AJ 30.10.03).
Marjorie Kay, Blackley, Manchester