October 22 2014 Latest news:

Eyesore Norwich homes set to be demolished - after standing empty and boarded up for five years

The overgrown, boarded up and fenced off homes in Argyle Street. Picture: Denise Bradley The overgrown, boarded up and fenced off homes in Argyle Street. Picture: Denise Bradley

Dan Grimmer dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk
Monday, June 2, 2014
6:30 AM

Twenty eyesore city homes, which have stood empty and boarded up for five years, are finally set to be demolished.

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Norwich City Council, which owns the homes, moved out the tenants living in them in 2009 after tests showed the properties were at risk of subsidence.

Not everyone who was moved out of the homes in Argyle Street, off Rouen Road, wanted to leave.

Some had said they would have preferred the city council to take action to repair the problems.

But the council pushed ahead with the move, with the tenants who were moved out eligible for home loss payments of around £5,000 to £6,000.

The council said at the time that it hoped to sell the properties to a housing association.

But such a deal never materialised and the homes have become an eyesore, with overgrown gardens and boarding covering the windows.

However, the council has now revealed that the fate of the homes will be decided later this year.

A council spokesman said: “Due to ground conditions we have been unable to find a partner to develop the site in its current state.

“Plans are in place to flatten the existing structures to create a more attractive business proposition which we hope will enable us to find a suitable development partner.

“We are currently in the process of procuring a contractor to carry out the demolition work, which is programmed to take place this financial year.”

Meanwhile, the city council has defended its record after statistics showed the number of empty homes in Norwich had gone up.

Research by national charity the Empty Homes Agency recorded that there were 385 empty homes in the city as of October last year, an increase of 53 on same time 12 months previously.

A city council spokesman said: “We’re doing everything we can to bring empty homes back into use. An increase of around 60 properties in the whole of Norwich over the past year could be down to any number of factors in the current climate.

“We brought 142 empty homes back into use between April 1, 2013, and December 31, 2013, against a target of just 20 – a fantastic achievement.”

Have you been trying to get action over an eyesore empty home? Tell us about it by emailing dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

18 comments

  • My comment was also removed with no reason given. Its a fa.ilure and oversight of Norwich City council who knew that these chalk works existed. New houses were built without considering the past and its not surprising that they can find nobody who will deal and pay for the City's concerns.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, June 4, 2014

  • Why would two different flats not have a satellite dish each - duh?

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    Cyril the Canary

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Full circle this time without the squatters, they want to demolish and replace with affordable housing the affordable housing they built to replace demolished housing 30 years earlier. And so it goes on

    imagesRPLL1L3P

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    Norwich expat

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • No doubt the private sector will have no problem building expensive rabbit boxes on the site. Oh, did I say rabbit boxes? I meant to say luxury dwellings LoL

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    marty r

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • I thought the Argyle street area is riddled with unplotted chalk workings-tunnels and pits etc which makes any development risky without a full geophysical survey. Buses falling in holes is one thing, wasting money on underpinning and piling for a site for cheap housing is silly. Better to let it be a car lot, or a site for businesses in portable structures which do not require heavy foundations.Or an open play space.And build where houses are not going to crack up.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Indeed, whenever you see a report on CH4 news about the poorneedy you always seem them in their living room with the 47" TV, Xbox, iPhone and Sky box. "Can't buy my kids food but I won't deny them entertainment (if it stops them bothering me while I have a smoke)!" If people got their spending and lifestyle priorities right, they might find they are not to so poor after all. Take some responsibility (I know, that's asking too much isn't it).

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    Resident Smith

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Why was my comment about there being no surprise about a shortage of partners for an area riddled with chalk workings removed? I thought it was entirely sensible to suggest that development could be non permanent dwellings or businesses which might not be so susceptible to subsidence. Just because the site was built on in the past, does not make it a sensible option now.Oh-I know-it was because I referred to the EDP pet campaign of the moment- homes built in daft places on the coast.

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • I think the bigger question here is why has the council given away between £5,000 to £6,000 in so called ‘home loss payments’? These were tenants in cheap social housing subsidized by the tax payer and presumably they were re-housed in other similar council owned property – the only loss here seems to be to the tax payer. Interesting that the picture shows not one but two Sky satellite dishes – says it all really!

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    Norfolk John

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Wherry Housing Association recently auctioned 2 empty houses off because they couldn't afford to upgrademodify them. Where is all the local councils money going?????? Oh yes I know silly me.

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    melalmighty

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • The truly shocking thing about this is that these modern houses were built on the site of some perfectly decent Victorian terraces, many of them the old squats, which had been emptied, squatted, and then demolished - because of SUBSIDENCE!! So did the council do nothing to stabilize the ground before they built the new houses, and if not why not? How did their engineers get it so wrong?

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    maz58

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Norwich City Council destroyed a wonderful community in Argyle Street that people from all over the world once came to see and film. It was a beautiful street full of happy people, children and dogs that lived together in peace and happiness. So the council came one day and throw everyone out then attacked it with bulldozers and diggers until there was nothing left of the last real happy community left in Briton, then they replaced it with the isolated abandoned lonely eyesore that it is now. There was a sign on the wall once in the original Argyle Street, a street that had been a community for centuries, that read, “Don’t fight each other, fight the council”.

    The real Argyle Street

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    MickB

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • An ancient hippie curse lies on this site so that all falls into limbo.......

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    oldowl

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • While they are at it can they knock down Howard House on King Street too? Let's not kid ourselves, it's an eyesore that has passed its time. Let it go. I'm sure the residents won't mind at all. If it was that important something major would have happened already.

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    Resident Smith

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Five year for a council to make a decision is quite speedy. Business premises instead of homes? Particularly when immigration is still running unchecked is not the wisest of decisions.

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    norman hall

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • It's incredible to think that a council can take five years to make a decision, no wonder this City and County are in such a state,what do they do all day. Then when questioned they seem to think they do a great job, to busy trying to justify their jobs so doing lots of little jobs to make the figures look good. Stat's rule OK

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    parkeg1

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • If the ground under Argyle Street is riddled with chalk workings, as it appears to be, surely underpinning is a waste of time.I am not surprised the council has not found development partners.. If the excavations are not mapped how can they know when the next collapse will come or how expensive the few houses are going to be to build safely.Better then perhaps to develop the site as an opportunity for accommodation of a less permanent kind or for businesses based in constructions which are not permanent and less likely to be affected by subsidence. Or even as an open play space for the area. There are more stable sites in the city-previous development is no guarantee of common sense or practicality ( as we see so often on the coast).

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    Daisy Roots

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • They look quite modern houses. I am surprised they weren't worth repairing or underpinning.

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    samphirelover

    Monday, June 2, 2014

  • Five years ... to get part way to a bit of a decision, maybe? Madness. Wasted time and money.

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    Patrick

    Monday, June 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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