Video: Derelict drug den in Downham Market demolished
09:01 18 November 2014
It had blighted the town for five years but it took less than an hour to demolish it.
Earthmovers and lorries moved in just after first light to the property off Brickfield Lane, between Railway Road and the Willows Nature Reserve.
The two-storey house, which had been empty for five years, had been vandalised and used as a drug den.
West Norfolk council served a legal notice on its owners, requiring that the windows and doors be boarded up, that all waste be removed from the land, that all the graffiti be removed and that the area be fenced off to prevent further access to the site.
No attempt was made to comply with the notice resulting in a breach of planning control. Councillors voted to demolish the building and the work began this morning.
Costs will either be recovered from the owner, or from selling the site.
Vivienne Spikings, chairman of the council’s Planning Committee, said: “This is quite a sad story really. This was once a comfortable family home, but personal circumstances have resulted in the property becoming neglected and uninhabitable. We don’t take this sort of action lightly but where a property is having a significant impact on its surrounding area and there are risks for people’s safety, we have to step in.
“We have tried to work with the owner to rectify the situation but he has chosen not to do the necessary works. It is very much a last resort, but we have no choice but to demolish the property to prevent further problems and to safeguard people in the area.”