Milton Manor is an 18th century, Grade 1 listed building in Oxfordshire; built by Inigo Jones for Bryant Barrett, lacemaker to King George III.
It was the first time we had visited these grounds and my wife and I were saddened to see the poor state of repair it has been allowed to fall into.
A debate was sparked between us with contrasting views and I would be interested to hear the opinions of others. To protect the innocent I am going to give the two sides without saying whose opinion is whose.
So to summise - Buildings are "listed" because they are considered by historians/experts to be of "Special Architectural or Historic Interest" and therefore require protection. Owners have a responsibility to ensure that the property is cared for and is not allowed to fall into disrepair. If the owner is then deemed negligent in their responsibilites or are unable financially to maintain the upkeep of the listed building then:-
A) Property before Person - An authority would be able to intervene and take the necessary and proper steps to ensure the property is cared for - ultimately this could lead to the property being sold and the owner loosing their seat.
B) Person before Property - As is the case of Milton Manor, It should be considered the owners' home and as such they have the right to manage their affairs as they wish. They should not have to give up ownership even if that means the property continues to fall further into disrepair.