HISTORIC former hunting dog kennels at an East Lancashire stately home have been deemed in need of ‘urgent repairs’.

The 18th Century Grade Two-listed buildings in Gisburne Park Historic Park and Garden were recently on the market for £495,000, and described as ‘a unique development opportunity’ but later withdrawn from sale.

Planning permission was granted by Ribble Valley Borough Council in February 1996 to turn the kennels into a residential property but the work was never carried out.

Now, the future of the building will be discussed local councillors, after a recent report by planning officials said the kennels were in ‘an extreme state of disrepair’ and that the ‘priority is to stabilise the building condition and prevent further decay’.

The kennels, within the sprawling 1,000 acre Gisburne Park Estate, were used to house hunting dogs during the heyday of hunting in Lancashire.

The building was described as a ‘sham castle’ and ‘derelict’ when it was listed back in 1981.

Owners of listed buildings are under no statutory obligation to maintain their property in a good state of repair, although they are advised by English Heritage that ‘it is in their interests to do so’.

But local authorities can step in when it becomes evident that a building is being allowed to deteriorate.

Coun Richard Sherras, who represents the area on the borough council, said: “I’m sure the members of the committee will be very unhappy about the state of the building and will want the officer to do something about it.

“It would be a shame if it was to disappear and I hope that something can be done.”

Councillors in the Ribble Valley will discuss the future of the kennels at a meeting in Clitheroe on Thursday.