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Westlegate businesses could remain closed until Thursday after cladding damage

PUBLISHED: 11:15 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:15 18 March 2019

Evans Cycles has said it hopes to reopen this week. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Evans Cycles has said it hopes to reopen this week. PIC: Peter Walsh.

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Businesses based in Norwich's Westlegate have said the earliest they will reopen is Thursday.

A piece of cladding has been torn from Westlegate Tower in high winds. Picture: Dominic GilbertA piece of cladding has been torn from Westlegate Tower in high winds. Picture: Dominic Gilbert

The street is partly closed after a chunk of cladding was blown off the Westlegate Tower block.

The cladding, which fell from around half way up the 41m-high tower, was dislodged during high winds on March 14 and crashed into the skylight of a flat below.

MORE: Pedestrians ignore safety barriers under city centre tower



Although shops such as Tesco and Adnams remain open on the city-centre street, three shops including Evans Cycles, Warings Lifestore and Paula Gundry are shut.

Westlegate Tower in Norwich has been damaged by strong winds. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodWestlegate Tower in Norwich has been damaged by strong winds. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

But a spokesman for Evans Cycles has said they are hoping to reopen by Thursday this week.

Whether or not this is feasible has not been confirmed by the authorities dealing with the matter.

A spokesman for Watsons Property, which manages the building said: “There is no confirmation regarding the opening of the road as yet.”

The spokesman reiterated the need for the public to stay out of the area which has been sectioned off with barriers.

On Saturday, the police were called to the scene after people disregarded the safety measures and instead climbed over the barriers.

The spokesman said: “The police were called out to provide support and additional signage in reinstating the barriers as members of the public tried to push past and climb over, as they wished to access the other side.”

MORE: People branded ‘stupid’ for ignoring warning signs after cladding torn from Norwich tower



The spokesman added: “Whilst we appreciate and sympathise with the effect the temporary closure of Westlegate is having for pedestrians and local businesses alike; this was actioned as a precautionary measure in considering the health and safety of the public.

“The general public must be considered foremost until we are confident that there is no risk that falling debris could occur due to high winds.”

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