The Policy Studies Institute report, The Built Heritage, adds that 2,400 Grade I or Grade II listed buildings held in care by English Heritage were in a 'poor' or 'very bad' state of repair. There are 440,000 listed buildings in England alone.
Jeremy Eckstein, the researcher, said: 'Listing is not a strong enough sanction to enable historic buildings to withstand the pressures of 20th-century development. There are ways round planning controls and you can still get permission to knock them down or more usually to use them for other purposes which really destroys the point. Around Regent's Park in London, there are terraces of Nash houses which have the original architecture on the outside but are office blocks. But the difficulty is that there simply isn't the money available for the upkeep of these buildings in their original form.'
The report said 33 per cent of adults visit stately homes, making this the second most popular leisure activity after the cinema.
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