Earlham House to hold festival to help businesses affected by renovation work

PUBLISHED: 10:52 28 September 2012 | UPDATED: 11:44 01 October 2012

Jon Jones, chairman of the residents' committee. Photo: Steve Adams.

Jon Jones, chairman of the residents' committee. Photo: Steve Adams.

Families living in the city’s Earlham House last night criticised the way developers had treated them during a refurbishment of the complex.

At a public meeting in St Thomas’ Church, in Earlham Road, they complained about Earlham House’s car park being fenced off, windows being removed from neighbouring flats and planned roadworks.

Councillors and people living in the flats decided at the meeting to hold a festival to bring trade to businesses below the flats which are struggling with the building work going on around them.

They also want to start a petition to protest against Hackwood Homes, who are carrying out the renovation work.

Parts of the car park have been fenced off, which protestors said was affecting businesses. Chairman of the Earlham House Residents’ and Community Association, Jon Jones, said: “It is just a step too far.

“We are just not going to accept this treatment.

“We have been very nice to them (Hackwood). We have been very generous to them and I think perhaps we have given a bit too much.

“These are our local businesses. They have a right to still exist.”

In a further blow to firms in Earlham House, roadworks are set to start outside the complex and last for three weeks.

Norfolk County Council is lining up the roadworks to upgrade a crossing on Earlham Road.

Bellgold, which owns 60 of the 84 flats above the shops, appointed Hackwood to carry out the work but since the long-awaited renovation work began the site has attracted controversy.

The company believes repairs will cost more than £700,000 during 2012.

This cost is split between Bellgold, commercial leaseholders and residential leaseholders and led to shopowners receiving bills in excess of £10,000.

People living in the flats also expressed fears about windows being removed from neighbouring, empty flats, and making their homes colder.

Do you have a story about Earlham for the Evening News? Contact reporter Tom Bristow on 01603772313 or email tom.bristow@archant.co.uk

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