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Report shows issues and dangers at The Lawn

A report detailing current and potential future problems with The Lawn will be presented to the public next week.

Hotelier Jonathan Pass and a panel of experts will go through the conservation report, originally written for the City Council last year.

He recently made a seven-figure bid for The Lawn complex in uphill Lincoln, after the council put it up for sale due to high upkeep costs.

However, his bid, which included restoration of the building and conservatory, a hotel, restaurant, bistro and bar with public access, was rejected by the council.

The report, which will be presented to the public by a panel which created the plan and the proposal, outlines that the maintenance of the building is “adequate” but there are problems and dangers.

Grover Lewis Associates identified leaks in the roof, straight windows to replace curved ones, badly repaired brick work, a slate roof needing replacement, and frames needing painting, plus some “inappropriate” internal decor.

The March 2011 report said: “One of the greatest threats facing the long-term survival of the buildings is the risk of lack of regular and effective maintenance. The principal historic building block at The Lawn is a large and complex building, with a multiplicity of roof slopes, and is therefore particularly vulnerable to lack of regular maintenance.

“Repair and replacement work has generally been done with care, but in some cases, the subtle detail and character of the original fabric has been lost. Over time, the continuance of such practices will inevitably lead to a cumulative loss of character and significance of the historic building.

It added: “The CMP has identified that [the south range and north wings of the main building complex] areas are under great threat for a variety of reasons including poor maintenance, poor accessibility, poorly conceived adaptations and low usage.

“A building of this age and complexity requires a continual programme of maintenance if the survival of its historic fabric is to be safeguarded.”

The report added that the best part of the complex was the northern end, which sees the most investment and maintenance due to more frequent use.

The meeting will also outline the proposals, and will be allowed to ask questions about his vision for The Lawn.

Jonathan Pass said: “The council has already openly admitted it can no longer afford the upkeep of the buildings or the Joseph Banks Conservatory.

“There has been a lot of debate and speculation surrounding our proposal and we wanted to make sure that the public and the business community knew the details of our plan. At least then we can have an informed debate around the future of this historic complex.

“One thing is certain – every month that goes by makes the project more difficult to undertake as the repair bill gets higher.”

The meeting starts at 6pm at Charlotte House Hotel on September 3, and is open to residents.