Parish must pay bill for repair or risk tower's loss
A PARISH council faces having to take on a historic building in need of repairs costing up to £120,000 or risk it being sold off and possibly lost for ever.
Cornwall Council is looking to shed responsibility for St Day's grade two listed clock tower, build in 1831, by handing it over to the parish council.
A report has found the historic building – which also houses a memorial to St Day's dead of the First and Second World Wars – is in disrepair and parish councillors are now desperately trying to find the money, estimated at between £100,000 and £120,000.
Parish council clerk Steve Edwards said: "It's a vital part of St Day's history.
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"It's unique in Cornwall in that it's the only one standing as it is. If we didn't take it on, then we've been told it's likely to be sold off. If so, then anything could happen to it; at the worst, it could have been knocked down.
"I understand Cornwall Council is looking to gift the tower to the parish council."
Anticipating having to accept responsibility for the tower, the parish council has already applied to carry out works to the structure.
According to the application, the tower's cupola or bellcote, the dome at the top, has cracked and water is seeping in. The weather vane has become unstable and has had to be removed, while supporting beams have become rusted and expanded, causing cracks in the framework.
Additionally the glass- reinforced plastic deck of the cupola needs to be removed and replaced with lead.
The building report says the wooden structure holding up the bellcote is in poor condition and states: "Repairs are required at all levels.
"Major work is required to the ironwork, steel and bracketing in the upper cupola, clock chamber and intermediate bearers." However, the memorial cenotaph at the base of the tower is said by the report to be in good condition.
Community groups are supporting a fundraising drive to carry out the necessary work.
"It's something the community feels attached to," said Mr Edwards.
"It's our history and we need to see it preserved."
A spokesman from Cornwall Council said it would work with the parish council to find funding for repairs.