Manor ‘may not survive harsh winter weather’

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AN HISTORIC Tudor house needs urgent work to make sure it can survive another harsh winter.

Portsmouth councillors fear Wymering Manor could collapse if there’s another winter like the last two, with long spells of sub-zero temperatures.

The building has been repeatedly offered at auction by the council, with hopes buyers might take it on to create a hotel.

But it has failed to reach its £350,000 minimum price. However, the council has also looked into selling it privately, and it’s understood two buyers have shown an interest – though a deal is unlikely until after the elections on May 6.

Cosham ward councillor Terry Henderson is now calling for cash to be spent to ensure its future.

He said: ‘There are increasing fears over the dilapidation of the building’s fabric and that it won’t survive another harsh winter. It’s urgent something’s done soon, because this is a unique building. It’s something we have to safeguard.’

The manor, on Old Wymering Road, was built in 1581, but was last used in 2006, when it was a youth hostel.

The Youth Hostel Association left when part of the building’s north wing collapsed, but the rest of the structure was considered safe.

But it has deteriorated further, with woodworm and water causing damage.

Cllr Henderson said: ‘There are very few buildings like it in the south-east of England, none in Portsmouth. We are its caretakers, for the city. We should spend money on it to make sure it’s OK.’

Janet Hird, of Friends of Old Wymering, said: ‘The building is deteriorating and we hope something can be done at least to make it watertight.’

The council’s head of property, Tom Southall, said: ‘The economic situation has depressed the property market but we’re disappointed we haven’t attracted an offer that will secure its future and provide a reasonable financial return. It’s important to Portsmouth’s heritage and we’ll do whatever we can to preserve it. The options are limited given the pressure on budgets but we’re looking at any options that will help prevent deterioration in its condition in the short term.’