CAMPAIGNERS have called for a council to step in and rescue a Grade I listed building dubbed the ‘Welsh Versailles’ that has been “left to rot”.

It is said Kinmel Hall, a French-style Edwardian manor, only has another five years in its current condition before further damage including roof collapses will mean it is beyond repair.

Conwy County Borough Council (CCBC) said it is in ongoing discussions with owners Acer Properties to carry out the work at the site which it acquired in 2011 with a plan to build a hotel.

Campaign groups Friends of Kinmel Hall (FKH) and SAVE have called for action to be taken before it is too late.

If the owner does carry out the repairs required under listed building regulations, options for the council include an urgent works notice and a compulsory purchase order that could see it transferred into council ownership.

It is understood that potential buyers of the site have been in contact with the council with informal redevelopment proposals including a private house, business school and tourist attraction.

Rosie Burton, a local authority conservation officer for 20 years, chairman of the Institute for Historic Buildings in Wales, and FKH member, said: “Action should be taken to save the building as once you have lost the historic fabric you’ve lost it. You can recreate it but that is not the same.

“This is such a fascinating building and rare survival of that type of building in Wales. The gardens used to be spectacular too.

"It is always better to deal with these things as soon as possible."

The building, around 500ft long, is said to have been inspired by the 17th century Chateau de Balleroy, Normandy and Hampton Court Palace in Twickenham.

It was built with a steel frame which Mrs Burton said is "developmentally significant" as it is likely to have inspired later designs of skyscrapers.

In 2015, the Victorian Society voted Kinmel Manor as one of its top 10 ‘most endangered buildings’ and urged Acer Properties to "come forward" with a refurbishment plan.

Former director of the Victorian Society Christopher Costelloe said at the time: “It is very sad that what is perhaps the greatest surviving Welsh country house is left lying unused and neglected.”

Heritage campaign group SAVE issued an appeal last week for the council to take action after claims the building has been abandoned by its owners.

A Twitter post read: “@SAVEBrit has called on @ConwyCBC to ensure emergency repairs begin urgently at Kinmel Hall. Kinmel’s British Virgin Islands registered owner Acer Properties have left the grade I landmark to rot since 2011.”

A CCBC spokesperson said the council is in ongoing discussions with Acer Properties to carry out the work.

“At the moment, the owners are taking positive steps and are in the process of making arrangements to carry out repairs to the property,” the spokesperson said.

“Although the matter is under review we do not consider that enforcement action is necessary at this present time.”