Environment Minister Clare Barber says she is very comfortable with the work undertaken by the owners of the Castle Mona.

She was asked about the work her department has done with the Tevir Group to preserve the future integrity of the building.

Since taking on the historic building, Tevir has worked towards making the building watertight and has demolished the more modern wings of the former hotel.

Mrs Barber said that her department has worked with Tevir throughout its ownership of the building, including through the planning application process and the registered building officer.

She added: ‘It is my understanding that the owners are still working to undertake repairs to the roof, which have been hampered by a number of issues on site. But this matter is being dealt with.

‘The registered building officer is meeting with the owners on site again soon to understand the timescales for completing these repairs and assess the building’s current condition.

‘It is also my understanding that the owners are working on their long-term strategy for the use of the building and I’ve been heartened to see the level of work undertaken in the time since their purchase of the property.’

Mrs Barber said that her department had been due to meet representatives of Tevir on Tuesday morning, but this had been hampered by flight cancellations. However, a new meeting is planned to take place soon.

David Ashford (Douglas North) asked Mrs Barber if she knew when the building was last assessed, in particular the historic interior. 

She said that this wasn’t something her officers had done, but that the registered building officers were reassured through talks with Tevir around this and that once her staff are able to meet the company, this will be better understood.

Following a question from Speaker Juan Watterson, Mrs Barber said that the department is somewhat constrained by the current legislation around registered buildings and that she looks forward to the report from the Select Committee of Tynwald on Built Heritage, led by Marlene Maska MLC to assist the work of her department in resolving these matters.

Mrs Maska said that it is important that if the island is to protect and enhance its registered building, there must be resources available to do this. 

Earlier this week, the Tevir Group said: ‘Since planning permission was granted, the extensive work on the property to remove the modern interventions such as the bowling alley, nightclub and the accommodation wing has been completed. 

‘Inside the property, a ‘soft strip’ of the fittings such as carpets has also been completed. A temporary rainscreen has been installed, and an access tower has been erected to facilitate the process of inspection and remedial repairs to the roof.’