New roof promises a new lease of life

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UNCERTAINTY over the future of one of Bicester’s landmark buildings could be at an end after plans to re-roof Garth House were supported at a meeting last Wednesday.

Members of Bicester Town Council’s policy committee backed a recommendation to completely replace the roof of the 170-year-old house in Launton Road, in order to preserve the building for future generations.

Garth House, a former hunting lodge, has suffered repeated roof leaks since it was handed over to the council in 1947. Persistent problems have even led councillors to discuss demolishing the building in previous years.

Councillor James Porter, chairman of Bicester Town Council’s policy committee, said: “The first thing to say is that we recognise Garth House has a special place in the hearts of many people in Bicester, and that’s important to us.

“It came into the council’s possession in 1947, and even then it had problems with its roof.

“There have been piecemeal repairs, but it’s never had the old roof taken off and a new one put on. That’s what we resolved to do. That way we can sustain the building and keep it open for community use.”

The policy committee’s decision has yet to be approved by the full council.

Although projected costs have not been made public, Mr Porter said the council would strive to minimise any impact on taxpayers.