A Norfolk council has said attempts to find a buyer for its former headquarters have been a "challenge" after 18 months without success.

Broadland Council has been attempting to sell off Thorpe Lodge - the vast site that includes a Grade II listed stately home and nuclear bunker - since July 2022.

It followed the authority moving in with South Norfolk Council at their new site at the Horizon Centre at Broadland Business Park that year.

Eastern Daily Press: The Horizon building at Broadland Business ParkThe Horizon building at Broadland Business Park (Image: Copyright www.mike-page.co.uk)

Thorpe Lodge, on Yarmouth Road near Norwich, continues to be on the market, advertised by estate agent Bidwells, but while a number of developers have reportedly "expressed interest", it continues to be a financial burden for the district, which has to pay holding costs funded through reserves.

It is not known how much the property is being offered for currently but the authority will be keen to secure a deal after spending £7.1m together with South Norfolk Council to buy their new HQ from Aviva. 

Its budget for 2024/2025 assumes that Thorpe Lodge is sold, although it seems this could be a long way off still.

Eastern Daily Press: Thorpe Lodge off Yarmouth Road near NorwichThorpe Lodge off Yarmouth Road near Norwich (Image: Google)

The lack of a sale has been blamed on a stagnated property market caused by a rise in interest rates.

In a report to the council's scrutiny committee, the authority has said disposing of the site is a "challenge" and that the administration is doing "everything it can" to sell it.

Options being explored include to see if housing associations would be interested in an affordable housing scheme on the site but these developers have said they do not wish to pursue this due to Thorpe Lodge being a listed building.

This means there are more restrictions on the changes that could be made to the site to protect the historical character of the Georgian house.