A court building which dates back centuries is to undergo renovations, with officials saying the work is needed because of climate change.

West Norfolk Council has given the Ministry of Justice planning permission to install new gutters and downpipes on the Crown Court on St Margaret's Place, in King's Lynn.

A design and heritage statement said: "It has become clear that as rainfall generally and locally has increased over time as the climate has changed and warmed, there are more frequent occasions on the site where existing rainwater gutters are overwhelmed.

"This has led to more frequent soaking of the brickwork walls and now that the mortar joints have been repaired and repointed there is a desire to prevent the gutters being overwhelmed and diminishing the impact of the investment in wall repairs."

The building has been used as offices since a new extension on College Lane was added in 1982, where both magistrates' and crown courts now sit.

Before then criminal cases were held across the road at the King's Lynn Guildhall.

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The statement describes it as "a stately building in the hub of the civic life of the town".

It adds: "The historic fabric is still in fine condition and will remain so given careful consideration to its long term robustness."

The Grade II listed brick-built building, which dates back to the 15th century, was originally a house which has been extended and modified over the years.

It stands in the shadow of Lynn Minister, next to Thoresby College, a short distance from the modern-day waterfront.

The new gutters will be 50pc larger than those currently in place, to help protect it from future downpours.

A planning officer's report said: "The proposal will cause minor visual change to the Grade II listed building but it will enable he building to be conserved for future generations."