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Caithness News Bulletins June 2006

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Company Wants Publics Views On Old Brewery Site At Manson's Lane, Thurso
As a follow on from the affordable housing project O'Brien Construction Ltd designed at Manson's Lane, they are hoping to develop the Old Brewery Building into a further six social housing units.

The Old Brewery is a category B listed building, built around 1798 in traditional Caithness flagstone rubble, which has been derelict and disused for many years.

Unfortunately the building's listed status may well render their proposed project unviable making it likely that the building will remain as it is for the foreseeable future.

Current estimates indicate that to restore the existing building with an internal steel support frame would cost in the region of 1.2 million, whereas to demolish and sympathetically rebuild it, utilising the original character and appearance of the building would cost 50% less at 600K and could easily be accommodated within Scottish Executive funding benchmarks.

O'Brien's appreciate that a listed building cannot be demolished unless it is demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that every effort has been exerted by all concerned to find practical ways of keeping it. Over the past 25 years various ideas have come forward but all have failed.

A spokesman for O'Brien's said, "Concerns are that over the next 25 years the building will have deteriorated further and become an eyesore and danger in the middle of the town. We now have the opportunity to do something with it and would very much welcome public opinion to see how people feel about the building, it's listed status and our proposals to either restore or rebuild."

To take this project forward the company would welcome comments from interested members of the public or organisations.

Contact them at:-

O'Brien Construction Ltd
1 Park Lane
KW14 8JZ

Tel: 01847 893666
Fax: 01847 893888
Email: enquiries@obrienconstruct.co.uk