On 30th April 1992, the Steering Committee of Cyfeillion Cadw Tremadog held a meeting to discuss progress, which Michael Jones, the Chief Planning Officer of Dwyer District Council, kindly attended.
i) Mr Jones informed us that Dwyfor is preparing a Listed Building Repairs Notice to be served on H. Hibberts, the owner of the Tannery. This is not the same as a Dangerous Structures Notice, which can be served on a building of any age, if it presents a risk to the public. A Listed Building Repairs Notice may require only repairs necessary to prevent further deterioration, and loss of historic fabric. The Notice can be challenged if the repairs required are more extensive than this. Dwyfor has therefore commissioned a report from David Bateman, an engineer experienced in working with historic structures, which will give immediate and longer term repair requirements. Dwyfor will then use the ''Immediate'' repairs list to form their Repairs Notice.
ii) Mr Jones clarified that planning permission for housing on any part of the site is HIGHLY UNLIKELY, even as a Planning Gain agreement, because there has already been a refusal on Appeal of housing in the immediate vicinity, as ''detrimental to the Conservation Area's. The only permissible use of the site is Industrial/Commercial. Cyfeillion Cadw Tremadog's outline application for mixed Industrial/Commercial/Tourism would be suitable.
iii) Dwyfor will ask the District Valuer to prepare a valuation of the site. Mr Jones said that they would then approach the WDA for a 100% grant for Derelict Land Clearance; and discuss if there were another WDA graft or loan to purchase the site.
iv) Dwyfor would then offer to purchase the site from Mrs Hibberts at the DV's price. If she refused, they would serve the Repairs Notice.
2. SITE CONTAMINATION INVESTIGATION
Since the meeting, Dwyfor & the WDA have agreed that Dwyfor should commission a study of the site to determine whether there is contamination present as a result of the former industries there. The results will have implications for the valuation.
After repeated phone calls to Dwyfor and the WDA. to try to speed things up, Cyfeillion Cadw Tremadog received a letter from the WDA on 24th July stating that ''the study could be undertaken in early autumn".
3. WDA PESSIMISM
The secretary, Frances Voelecker, has had a long discussion with Imagen Sherriff of the WDA regarding possible future uses of the Tannery. Mrs Sherriff, while personally supportive of the Trust's aims, is very pessimistic about ANY future use for the Tannery, unless it be housing. She cites the low ceiling heights, and the fact that 4/5 of the accommodation is on upper floors as the main practical problems of the building. She warns that tourism is subject to fashions and economic cycles, though the proposed mixed
use of the site might mitigate this.
4. SLOW PROGRESS
Now that the Application to demolish a Listed Building has been withdrawn, CADW is powerless to act. The duty to act to prevent the loss of an important Listed Building within its area lies now with Cyngor Dosbarth Dwyfor, as the Local Authority.
5. TRUSTS AIMS
As secretary to Dwyfor and the strong Cyfeillion Cadw Tremadog, I keep pushing WDA, to speed them up. I sense that there is reluctance in these two bodies to tackle the problem. This may be partly because the buildings are undoubtedly going to be expensive to repair - the Tannery will probably never be ''viable''. This is precisely why a Trust was formed we know that we will have to fund-raise on a large scale to pay for their repair. The Trust's aim is to acquire the buildings, repair and sell Bron Haul at no overall loss; and to repair the Tannery so that it can be put to a use that will itself generate sufficient income to ensure that the
building can be properly maintained.
6. SUPPORT LACKING
lf we follow conventional rules of economic viability, not only is the Tannery non-viable, so is any new venture in great tracts of Gwynedd! Should we emigrate? Do Dwyfor and the WDA intend to stifle the Trust's attempts to rescue this building?
I sense that it is rather a combination of bureacratic inertia, and a LACK OF GENERAL SUPPORT BEING EXPRESSED BY ANYONE OTHER THAN ME!
PLEASE WRITE TO DWYFOR TO SUPPORT THE TRUST'S AIMS AND TO ENCOURAGE DWYFOR TO MOVE FASTER; WRITE TO THE PRESS AND ASK WHY IT IS TAKING SO LONG