§ Mr. Dalyell
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what is his policy towards Heveningham hall.
§ Mr. Key
My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, when he was responsible for this matter as the Secretary of State for the Environment, decided on 10 December 1991 not to exercise his right to purchase Heveningham hall. I fully share his view about the outstanding importance of this grade I building and the need to maintain the integrity of the house, its decorative scheme and the grounds, and firmly believe that these objectives should be met, where possible, by responsible private ownership. It is for the official receivers to explore this possibility and I understand that they intend to market the hall later this summer. The hall will remain subject to the full rigour of planning and listed building controls and to advice from English Heritage and the local planning authorities. The costs of restoration work to the house and the grounds which is still outstanding should be well within the financial capacity of a new owner.