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Solution on cards to save mediaeval barn
10:00am Saturday 2nd February 2013 in News
A SOLUTION to save one of Ledbury’s most ancient buildings, the mediaeval St Katherine’s Barn, may soon be on the cards.
Andy Tector, head of special projects at Herefordshire Council, has informed Ledbury town councillors that outside bodies have expressed “some interest” in taking on the timber barn, which is by St Katherine’s car park.
The problem of water runoff from the nearby electricity sub-station, a situation that has been damaging the barn’s base timbers, may also soon be solved. Speaking in the Market House at a meeting of the town’s environment and leisure committee, Mr Tector said: “We have virtually reached agreement with Western Power to remove the substation.”
A smaller, modern sub-station could be located elsewhere in town.
But Mr Tector said he wanted the barn to be used in a way that was in keeping with the location, close to the Master’s House and St Katherine’s Hall.
He said: “We want to control what the building is used for.
“We want a use compatible with the Master’s House.”
A Herefordshire Council report last year revealed how expensive a restoration of the barn might be.
The report stated: “This is a listed building and its community asset transfer would remove maintenance liabilities of £600,000.”
But part of the barn, in fact, is still in use.
Town councillor Clive Jupp told Mr Tector: “It is used as a store for Ledbury Carnival.”
Mr Tector said the refurbishment might not take place for a while, but he also said: “The reality is, it should not be used.
“It is not very safe.
“I thought all the old Ledbury Carnival stuff had been removed.”
The neighbouring Master’s House is currently being restored and re-developed into a new library and hub for public services.