A VANDAL-plagued Grade II listed building owned by Bury Council is set to be sold on the open market.

Summerseat House, which is vacant after formerly being used as a pupil learning centre, has fallen foul of several break-ins, thefts and acts of vandalism and is said by the council to be ‘rapidly deteriorating due to a

lack of funds’.

Built 1836 by Richard Hamer, a cotton mill owner, the large detached house was given listed status in 1985 and has extensive grounds.

Features of the Newcombe Road property include a symmetrical rendered front, five sash windows and a wide porch with Tuscan columns.

Bury Council’s cabinet will discuss disposing of the building next week.

A report by Paul Lakin, Bury’s director of regeneration and capital growth, said that a sale was being sought ‘ in order to achieve best value and secure the future use of the property’.

The report added: “Summerseat House is a property comprising a Grade II listed building together with non-listed connected buildings and a separate single storey building set in mature grounds with woodlands covering an area of approximately 7.2 acres.

“The buildings on site are in a rapidly deteriorating state and are subject to ongoing acts of vandalism and theft. Incidents have included lead theft from the roof of the main building, break-ins by people looking to steal from the buildings and also commit acts of vandalism.

“Numerous windows in the properties have also been broken.

“Although repairs have been undertaken, the buildings have suffered considerable external and internal damage which would require significant expenditure to rectify.

“Holding costs, including repairs and security measures, incurred to date currently amount to £142,000.”

The report anticipated that there would be great deal of interest if the property was sold.

Mr Lakin, said: “Given the attractive location and scale of the property, it is anticipated that if brought to the market, it would attract a significant amount of interest from the property market, potentially for a variety of uses.”

A soft market testing exercise was carried out in October by the council’s growth and development manager, with a number of interested parties and niche developers who have a track record in heritage developments which found there was market appetite for the property for a residential use.

North Manor councillor Dorothy Gunther, said: “This is a superb building with beautiful grounds.

“I would hope that it could be explored for it to be put to community use so that the people of Bury could enjoy it.”