Torbay Council has made the difficult decision to restrict access and close areas of Oldway Mansion to protect the public.
Following the prolonged spell of warm weather, the heat has caused mortar joints to dry out and debris to fall from the building.
As soon as the council were made aware of the issue, surveyors from TDA were instructed to inspect the building and put in place measures to protect visitors to the much loved local site.
Heras fencing will be put in place around the perimeter of the building, whilst a longer term-solution is explored.
Unfortunately, whilst a solution is designed, which may involve creating and installing a temporary covered walk way, the popular volunteer run tea rooms will be closed however we will be working hard to re-open it at the earliest opportunity.
Despite the safety measures in place, the grounds of Oldway remain open to the public, with the much valued garden volunteers continuing with their work to ensure the garden can still be enjoyed and explored.
Regular security patrols and safety inspections of the site will continue with appropriate action being taken if any issues arise.
Cllr Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council said; “People’s safety must come first. We have had to install temporary fencing around the perimeter of the building, this means that until we can create a safe walk way into the tea room has had to close.
The building is regularly inspected but owing to the recent heat Oldway and other old buildings across the UK are suffering from similar problems. Conservation of Oldway is complicated but we are committed to ensuring it has a sustainable future.”
Cllr Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing for Torbay Council, said; “We are doing everything possible to re-open the tea rooms as quickly and safely as possible. We’d like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding whilst we implement these emergency measures.”
Work is underway to develop a Masterplan and Conservation Management Strategy for the mansion and estate. Katherine Findlay started work last month as project director to drive forward plans to restore and give Oldway a new lease of life, with positive progress already being made. Read more about this appointment.
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