Fringe Box



Council to Sell Grade II Listed Building Beyond Economic Repair

Published on: 26 Feb, 2024
Updated on: 28 Feb, 2024

Front of Grade II listed Old Manor House, East Horley. All photos GBC

By Emily Dalton

local democracy reporter

An ‘inhospitable’ Grade II listed property in East Horsley will be put on the private market as it is ‘too costly’ for Guildford Council to modernise, a council Executive meeting last week (February 22). 

Old Manor House on Ockham Road South was built circa 1800 then rebuilt in 1868 by the Lovelace Estate. In its existing use, a 2018/19 book valuation of the property was £1.87 million. Current evaluation data was restricted by the council.

External photo of side view of Old Manor House.

Extensive damp penetration causing fungal spread across the entire ground floor walls, ceilings, floors and staircase has left the general condition of the property as a ‘liability’, ‘uninhabitable’ andbeyond repair.

It was unanimously voted the property should be sold on the private market at an Executive meeting held 22 February 2024. The property was first examined for redevelopment in 2017

Cllr Richard Lucas

Lead councillor for Assets and Property, Richard Lucas (Lib Dem, Ash Vale) said: “The old manor house is an asset in the general fund. It is in a state of dilapidation. It would require extensive investment in order for it to bring it up to standard for letting.”

The property is also in need of complete rewiring, replumbing, roof works, internal and external joinery, new floorboards, replastering and new ceilings. Estimated renovation costs were restricted by the council.

Occupation of the property is not possible in its current condition and, according to council documents, “complete refurbishment and modernisation is required to put the property into a habitable state of repair”.

Internal photo of Old Manor House showing mould and damp.

Cllr George Potter

Cllr George Potter (Lib Dem, Burpham) said: “I tend to be reluctant to dispose of buildings which can be used for housing,” [but] even if we were to conserve [the property]… it is quite clear that it would not be cost-effective to bring this building back up to standard for habitation.

“The money this council would spend doing so would be better spent providing more homes more affordably elsewhere.”

Council documents state disposing of the property would contribute towards the £50 million of capital receipts required by March 2027 as set out in the Council’s Financial Recovery Plan.

Cllr Catherine Houston

Cllr Catherine Houston (Lib Dem, Shalford) said: “This is a beautiful building… Looking internally there is so much damage already with damp and mould. It’s such a shame that it got to this stage and to this state.”

She concluded that the “best way” to preserve the building would be selling it on the free market so it can be “retained as a local heritage asset”.

External consultants advised the council there is a “strong possibility” the asset sale will create interest from builders, speculators and developers. Document said: “The competition created should force a premium price to be paid and will ensure the building is redeveloped and brought back into residential use.”

Another view of the interior showing poor state of repair.

Built of brick and flint elevations, the property is arranged as eight flats which were held under leaseholds for 125 years. The council has since bought the leases back and now has vacant possession of the property.

The property has protective heritage status and is also within the green belt, a Conservation Area, and an Area of High Archaeological Potential.

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