Lichfield’s Annual Town Meeting

Some really important news;

Lichfield’s Annual Town meeting is an event open to residents of Lichfield City, and is an opportunity to ask the Council and its Members questions about issues that are of concern.

The meeting will be held at the Guildhall, Lichfield on Wednesday 22 May at 7:30pm.

This is a golden opportunity to ask about the fate of Sandfields Victorian Pumping Station, and to show that this building and its unique Cornish beam engine is a significant part of Lichfield’s Heritage. It is also an opportunity to voice your concern that the developer has a statutory obligation to keep the building and beam engine in a good state of repair and is obliged to comply with the section 106 planning agreement.

This is fantastic news and a real one off chance to make a difference. If you live in Lichfield City, or you know someone who does and can attend, then please do so.

Unfortunately, I will not be allowed to take part in this meeting as I am not a resident of Lichfield, and really hope that you will be able to support this cause in my absence.

Thank you

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2 Responses to Lichfield’s Annual Town Meeting

  1. Not sure what the parish (city council) can do, they have no statutory powers nor have any where near the funding that would be required to either purchase or manage the Sandfields building….? Not sure what the parish can do?

    The developer owns the building and the District Council are responsible for the Listed Building status and are in discussion with the developer about the future. Though for all its difficult to do much without funding of a significant nature. Perhaps european or regional funding or alternatively this maybe of use http://www.fundsforhistoricbuildings.org.uk/

    • morturn says:

      Hi Gareth

      I agree that funding could be a problem, however just to keep this building safe, secure and weather tight should not cost the Council hardly anything, it is the responsibility of the developer. They are not short of cash, they declared pre tax profits of £170 million in 2012.

      I also would think it would be reasonable to assume that when they took on this development, they had full knowledge of what they were taking on, and would have built in a contingency or provisional sum to cover the cost of maintaining the building, with a view that they were going to comply with the S106 planning agreement.

      What is also interesting is that S106 agreements are a contractual agreements; therefore not to comply is a simple act of breach of contract. In my experience just a few carefully worded letters from the District Council could make a significant difference, assuming the District Council which to preserve this building and its historic contents.

      As for on going cost, there is a minimum we could live with, all this building needs is some lighting and heating. We could certainly find sufficient volunteers to show people around on guided tours three or four time a year. In fact this was already happening with a group before the developer came along.

      If you ever get to the chance, have a look at Leawood Pump House at Cromford. The Council owns the building and pays for the electric and some repairs. A group of volunteers open the place up and run the engine with money they collect from donations.

      Thanks for your input

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