A cult Norfolk waxworks is set to close after its elderly owners won permission to convert it into a house.

Peter and Jane Hays, who have run Louis Tussauds House of Wax in Great Yarmouth for 58 years, want to retire from the struggling attraction.

But the couple – both in their eighties – have been unable to find buyers for the Regent Road attraction.

They looked to turn the waxworks into a home instead, and last night planning councillors at Great Yarmouth Borough Council gave them the go-ahead.

Applicants Mr and Mrs Hays did not speak at the meeting, but assistant development control manager Tim Major read from a statement.

He told the meeting they 'have been unable to find any individual or company' to take it on due to declining income and rising costs.

He added the couple cited 'some bad media coverage in recent years which has damaged their reputation'.

And the wax modeller used by the property 'retired some years ago and they were unable to find a replacement'.

Charles Reynolds, councillor for Ormesby ward, said: 'This is a bit of a sad occasion, but the publicity it has given the area is quite unbelievable.

'Jane Hays and her husband have been icons within tourism.

'They've seen the best times and sadly some decline has crept up on them.'

He added he hoped the Hays would be thanked for their contribution to the town through the tourist authority.

They already live in a flat on the first floor, and now have permission to turn the entire building into a home. They may also put up two retail kiosks in front of the waxworks – but they will not be allowed to become hot food takeaways.

The House of Wax building was constructed in the mid 19th century as a doctor's house.

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