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Lord Maginnis of Drumglass: Will the noble and learned Lord take account of the fact that in areas in which there are listed buildings, those who own the listed buildings sometimes allow them to fall into such disrepair that nothing can be done to preserve them? I am involved in such a case in my home town. Is any facility available, or is one contemplated, that would deal with that situation? I do not expect the noble and learned Lord to give me an instant answer.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: The analogy is fairly made with the powers in England and Wales, where the local authority has the power to serve a notice requiring works to be carried out on a building that is listed but which is allowed to run into disrepair. In certain circumstances, local authorities can carry out the repairs themselves and charge the owner. Difficulties often arisenotoriously so recentlywhen the owner is not an individual but a corporation. A corporation often registers outside the jurisdiction and the process is laborious. The answer is that planning departments and enforcement agencies must be as vigorous and diligent as those seeking to profit from unlawful behaviour.
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