asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will now list the details of work, and their estimated costs, for repair work at Lower Leigh, Churchstow, Kingsbridge, Devon, between 1975 and 1986; and why the public has not been able to visit Lower Leigh during the period in which the work has been carried out;(2) what work has been carried out on Lower Leigh, Churchstow, Kingsbridge.. Devon since 1975; at what cost; and what is the size of the work force;(3) what is the proposed use of Lower Leigh, Churchstow, Kingsbridge, Devon, after the repair work is completed in 1990; and on what basis £350,000 of public funds has been made available;(4) if he will list the repair work which is to be carried out by 1990 at Lower Leigh, Churchstow, Kingsbridge, Devon; and if he will make a statement as to the programme of consolidation referred to in his answer of 17 June,
Official Report, column 505;
(5) why it is proposed to take 15 years to carry out the repair work at Lower Leigh, Churchstow, Kingsbridge, Devon; and from whose budget the sum involved is to be taken.
In view of the architectural and historical importance of the buildings at Lower Leigh., my Department acquired them in 1975 and embarked on a major programme of repair and restoration. This was to include the construction of a new roof, the repair or replacement of stonework and timbers and generally to put the buildings into a safe and suitable condition for presentation to the public. The buildings cost £5,000 to acquire. The cost of the new roof was £140,000. Work on the stonework and timber will cost about £145,000, with ancillary and presentation costs amounting to £60,000.The restoration programme is now the responsibility of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission. Most of the major structural work is complete, but it still remains for the fine detail of the stonework and timber to be completed.The programme has proceeded as resources have permitted from within the Commission's budget for the repair and maintenance of ancient monuments. The Commission is using its own specialist labour to carry out the work.Although the buildings are not formally open to the public, anyone wishing to see the work in progress is allowed access during normal working hours. When the work is completed the buildings will be opened as a public monument.