An investigation has begun after changes were made to a listed building built in the Georgian period.

Locals have complained that work has been carried out on the Old Rectory in Gayton Road, Gaywood, Near King's Lynn.

The work, which includes the installation of a new black gate, has been carried out without prior planning permission.

Eastern Daily Press: The Old Rectory pictured in March 2023 before the gates were installed this yearThe Old Rectory pictured in March 2023 before the gates were installed this year (Image: Google)

West Norfolk Council, the local planning authority, has since begun investigations to determine if any enforcement action is necessary. 

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As it is a Grade II listed building, any changes to the structure of the property must first be allowed by the local planning authority.

A West Norfolk Council spokesman said: “We received a report that works are ongoing at 26 Gayton Road, which is a listed building.

"An enforcement file has been opened and an initial inspection has been carried out, further investigations are ongoing.”

Eastern Daily Press: The gates installed at 26 Gayton Road, GaywoodThe gates installed at 26 Gayton Road, Gaywood (Image: Submitted)

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Alison Gifford, chairman of the King's Lynn Civic Society, said: "Rules are there for a reason.

"People who buy listed buildings know the rules and if they break them then the local authority should take enforcement action to return it to how it used to look."

Ben Tansley, a local businessman who owns the property, said it is currently being rented out to a care company who made the changes.

He said: "If WNC finds anything needs changing then it will be put back as needed."

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Eastern Daily Press: Gates installed at the front of the propertyGates installed at the front of the property (Image: Submitted)

The building was built in the early 18th century, when it would have provided housing for members of the clergy.

The property was converted into apartments in 2013 and it was sold in 2022 in the region of £1m.

It is located a short distance away from Princess Diana's former school at Silfield House, which is itself at the centre of a planning row after locals voiced their anger at plans to demolish the historic property and turn it into a 70-bed care home.