A tumbledown, filthy, pigeon roost which has blighted North Walsham town centre for some six years may be compulsorily purchased by frustrated councillors.

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A recommendation to Monday’s North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) cabinet calls for the move if 4 and 4a Market Street are not satisfactorily developed within a set time.

Cabinet members are also set to recommend putting £46,000 into a near-£100,000 pot for Market Place improvements aimed at ending long-standing headaches as buses queue at stops, motorists wait to pounce on empty parking slots and shoppers try and dodge both hazards.

Once a characterful printer’s works and later a shop, the Grade Two-listed Market Street building, in the heart of the town’s Conservation Area, has degenerated into one of North Walsham’s most embarrassing eyesores.

Cabinet member Trevor Ivory, who lives in the town, said the council still hoped the owner would come forward with an acceptable plan for the site but it was not prepared to allow further “endless delays”.

A draft scheme for a mixture of shops and homes had been agreed in principle with the council’s conservation and design officer.

NNDC had bent over backwards to try and help the owner, including opening new public toilets in Vicarage Street enabling the old block behind 4 Market Street to close so that the area could potentially form part of the site redevelopment.

But Mr Ivory said: “At the moment we are not in a position where we have confidence that there is a viable scheme for that site.

“Compulsory purchase is a measure of last resort. Complicated as it may be, we are ready to take this step in order to get things moving. It’s a key gateway into the town which is such an eyesore that it detracts from the whole feel of North Walsham as an attractive shopping destination.”

The building’s owner, Mark Tentori, who does not live in Norfolk, could not be contacted.

Meanwhile NNDC hopes its £46,000 contribution, coupled with £50,000 Norfolk County Council cash, would see the start of Market Place improvements by next April.

The NNDC money would come out of a pot set aside for the town’s Leadership of Place programme, which sees representatives from local organisations working on improvement schemes.

The Market Place measures have been agreed between the town, district and county councils, and North Walsham Chamber of Trade.

First in place, before April, would be signs indicating to motorists where the town’s car parks are situated.

And in 2013-2014 the current parking slots would be replaced with angled bays, pavements widened, and “raised tables” introduced to help pedestrians cross at key locations.

A spokesman said both elements would need further consultation so the detail might change slightly.

5 comments

  • Tell you what, why not close the town centre to traffic and kill it off for once and all?

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    KeithS

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

  • As this, effectively, joins into the "precinct" which now, amongst all its other woes, now includes the boarded up former toilet block, surely this is a perfect opportunity to demolish the whole thing. There is no possibility of new businesses using any of it, if there was, they'd be there already. This will, if nothing is done, be a permanent stain on the town centre, here is the opportunity to sort it for all time. I bet they won't!

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    windup

    Friday, October 12, 2012

  • Maybe the council would like to consider compulsory purchase of the entire St Nicholas Court precinct - sort out the entire area while there is the opportunity to do so. There's hardly a business left in the Precinct as it is, what better time to do it with as little disruption as possible. Come on NNDC, have some VISION!

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    Pete Bogg

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

  • compulsory purchase how many more times are we going to hear that word NNDC soon jumps on somebody who has an empty house and forces them to get it sorted but when it comes to 6 year old eyesore they seem a bit frightened. i also agree they should sort out the other eyesore (the precinct) it must be a frightening place to walk at night its bad enough in daylight!!!!

    Report this comment

    i am mostly wrong??

    Friday, October 12, 2012

  • Great news - at last something is being done & it's all happening in Nth Walsham - Waitrose, possibilty of another supermarket etc. Next job is to get the "precinct" (I hate that word) brought back into proper retail use and smarted up & we might be getting somewhere.

    Report this comment

    Mylen1um

    Thursday, October 11, 2012

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

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