Westlegate scaffolding finally coming down – but it might go back up
PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:30 17 April 2019
Bosses have been told scaffolding that has hampered shoppers in a Norwich street for weeks is coming down ... but might have to go back up.
Prime city centre spot Westlegate has been closed in part since March 14, after 60mph winds ripped a hole in the cladding of Westlegate Tower, which sits behind the road.
But four weeks later the hole in the building remains, forcing pedestrians to use a narrow footpath beneath scaffolding.
Watsons Property Managemement – who look after the tower – has confirmed that it is hoping to remove the scaffolding by Thursday of this week.
Nathan Humphreys, head of residential management, said: “We are encapsulating the damage to the cladding, and hope to have the scaffolding down by Thursday. We have been given a deadline of April 21 by the local authorities but are hoping to be done sooner.”
However, Mr Humphreys said there is potential that the scaffolding could come down while the hole in the cladding is “encapsulated” but could be resurrected in the future to permanently fix the damage.
Harriet Amey, the owner of Noa Noa, an independent women's fashion retailer on Westlegate said: “This is the first time in a few weeks that I've seen any work happening. It's disappointing, if they were working hard all the time we'd be thinking 'fair enough', but they're not.”
Ms Amey's shop has seen footfall drop by more than 500 people in the period the scaffolding has been up compared to the same time the year before.
Roy Flint, manager of Evans Cycles which sit directly below the tower, said: “We couldn't get deliveries in or bikes out to customers so essentially sales stopped.
“Ever since we've opened up with the scaffolding outside footfall has been down by about 20% and we've had loads of people calling us up asking if we're open.
“We're very hopeful that the scaffolding will be moved in time for the Easter weekend. You can't see the shop front for starters, if it's not visible people won't think to pop in. We'd like the scaffolding down as soon as possible for obvious reasons.”