Counting House row rumbles on

The Counting House, Pontefract.
The Counting House, Pontefract.

Wakefield Council is to take legal action so it can carry out emergency repairs on Pontefract’s 15th century Counting House.

The building, which was run as a pub until 2012, is Grade II-listed and on the council’s buildings at risk register.

The council’s cabinet is expected to approve a recommendation from officers which would allow them to take action under planning laws to repair the building.

The council said it had already served two urgent works notices - a way of securing repairs urgently necessary for the preservation of a building - on the building.

It said the works were essential to make sure the building was wind and water tight for the winter.

If approved, the latest legislation will allow the council to enforce a repairs notice and, if no response is received within two months, the council can then consider serving a compulsory purchase order on the building.

Coun Denise Jeffery, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The Counting House is a much-loved building and part of Pontefract’s history.

“We have long been in correspondence with the owner to find a way to restore and conserve the building and throughout have followed our proper planning, procurement and grant aid processes.

“But we have not been successful so far and if we are left with no choice we will take legal action against the owner.

“Our aim is to protect one of Pontefract’s most important historical buildings for future generations and stop the deterioration of the Counting House, which is now gravely at risk.”

The council’s cabinet is expected to approve the recommendation at a meeting on Tuesday, November 24.