We have been waiting for 3 years for this decision by the Secretary of State since August 1999. Although we are obviously disappointed, we are not suprised at the outcome. With the government investigating the government, and everyone else trying to cover their own backs, how could we expect to get a fair and independent decision?
The Secretary of State fails to address the fundamental issues of this case as it is too controversial for the Secretary of State to allow Babergh District Council to be held accountable for their actions.
With comments from the Secretary of State’s surveyor and mills expert, Mr J Kenneth Major of Reading who surveyed the mill on behalf of the Secretary of State and stated “the roof has, clearly, been well repaired” followed by “I did not think that the alleged misalignment of the brickwork was noticeable (Window alignment) and “the standard of workmanship was reasonable” but however failed to notice any of the other obvious defects, we are left wondering if he is actually talking about the same mill?
Another “classic” comment from the Assistant Regional Director of English Heritage, Mr Andrew Derrick “Ian Hume and I visited the building in May”, “generally we consider that the works have been carried out in an acceptable manner.”
The Secretary of State conveniently fails to address one of the main issues - that we could not legally carry out the proposed works in the 22nd May Section 54 Notice, as it would have been a criminal offence, which was demolishing a four storey corner of this listed building, without listed building consent, when the corner had just been stabilised by “the ultimate permanent works.” (wooden shoring) Quoted by Brian Morton - Internationally renowned Structural Engineer, which was erected for the preservation of this Listed Building.
Also, the Secretary of State conveniently claims - when the Section 54 Notice was served on May 22nd 1996 - works to preserve this listed building were urgently necessary.
The notice gave us 7 days to carry out the works.
Between the 22nd May 1996 and 28th May 1996 £7,500 of work was carried out to the mill - to keep the building safe from collapse and wind and weather proof, works to stabilise the wall for the preservation of the building were carried out to prevent any further deterioration as the building subsists.
On the 29th May 1996 the works urgently necessary to preserve this listed building had been done, this was all carried out and completed in the 7 days allowed in the notice. by “the ultimate permanent works.” (wooden shoring) Quoted by Brian Morton - Internationally renowned Structural Engineer, which was erected for the preservation of this Listed Building.
The law clearly states that the building works have to be urgently necessary for the preservation of the building as it subsists, when the works are carried out.
The building works for the section 54 notice started on the 30th May 1996 - for the demolition of the 4 storey corner of this listed building when it was unnecessary for the preservation of this listed building.
The law clearly states that the works have urgently necessary for the preservation of a listed building when the works are carried out, and not when the section 54 notice is served - as stated by the Secretary of State in his decision - as in the 7 days of the notice, the condition of the building had changed dramatically and the building had been preserved.