Work on Norwich eyesore to begin again after developers buy building
- Credit: Archant
Work on a Norwich eyesore which has stalled for years could be set to begin again after the building was bought.
Plans to convert the old Gem Printers building in Rosary Road were approved by Norwich City Council more than a decade ago, but the work was never completed.
However, last Friday agreements were finalised between M&A Norfolk Ltd and estate agent William H Brown.
M&A Norfolk Ltd comprises of business partners Mark Bailey, of Kitchen and Bathroom Transformations in Norwich, and Akis Chrisovelides, a financial director.
Mr Bailey, 46, said: 'I'm a local guy, so I know it's had a real chequered past, and the council have had some real issues.
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'We spoke to the owners a year ago but they were talking to someone else about it at the time, but we got back to them just after last Christmas when we had just finished another little development.
'When we visited the site on Saturday to clear it we had a lot of people coming out, asking what was going on and saying it's lovely to see something being done.
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'There were lots of drugs needles everywhere, it's horrendous.'
December 2016 saw police carry out a crackdown on sex workers and drug-taking on Rosary Road after residents said they regularly found empty bottles of alcohol, needles and used condoms near their homes, and some reported being attacked by drug dealers.
A further dispersal order was put in place by police during December 2017.
Mr Bailey believes this is in part due to the availability of the old Gem Printers building to criminals.
He and Mr Chrisovelides plan on keeping the property and renting its new flats out at £550-£800 per month.
The finished building will have a timber frame and brick outside, and will consist of four two-bed flats and two one-bed flats.
Mr Bailey estimates the property will be ready to rent in 12-18 months.
He said: 'It will be a traditional building in keeping with the area's style. It's a beautiful area and there's a lovely view of the church next door.
'I think it would be nice to see local people renting in the area.
'We're not like London developers that just want to flip a property, we're local people who want to properly do it up.'
A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: 'This private land has had various owners over the past few years but has been largely unused, causing some issues with anti-social behaviour.
'As well as serving a formal notice (around securing the site) on the previous owner, our environmental protection team made contact with the new owners and has been working with them to make the land safe and secure.'