Aviva orders homeless people camping outside former BHS store in Norwich to leave

Work has begun to board up the former BHS store in Norwich. Picture Jessica Long

Work has begun to board up the former BHS store in Norwich. Picture Jessica Long - Credit: Archant

A group of homeless people who had been living in tents outside the former BHS store in Norwich have been forced to move on.

The store on St Stephen's Street closed down in August and the building, which is owned by Aviva, has remained empty ever since.

But the entrance porch of the store, where the homeless people were sleeping, has now been boarded up and the people ordered to move on by Aviva Life and Pensions.

The notice, which was attached to a pillar in the porch, stated: 'AVIVA LIFE AND PENSIONS LTD are entitled to possession of the land on which you are trespassing and we require you to leave. WE HEREBY GIVE YOU NOTICE that you are occupying the above land illegally and without permission, license or consent and have no right to remain.

'If you do not leave by 5pm on Monday 13th March 2017 together with all your belongings we will exercise our right of self-help to remove you and have instructed Enforcement Agents from Constant & Company to do so on our behalf.

'This right under Common Law is set out in Haisburys Laws of England. The Police will be asked to attend whilst AVIVA LIFE AND PENSIONS UK LTD exercise their rights of removal, to ensure there is no Breach of the Peace.'

A spokesperson for Aviva Investors said they are in the process of reletting the building and have installed hoardings around the store to enable an incoming tenant to do its shop fitting works, but they admitted the work has affected the people who were sleeping there.

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'We appreciate that this affects the individuals who have been sleeping in the BHS doorway and that they have previously been offered beds within local hostels which we understand they declined,' they said. 'We have been speaking to them and have attempted to put them in contact with local charities which can offer help and support.'

The shop closed its doors for the last time on August 28 2016 after BHS went into administration.

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