Bid to buy walking area of North Walsham’s ‘tatty’ precinct

Members of the regenerate North Walsham in St Nicholas Court precinct. Pictured from left: Rev Paul

Members of the regenerate North Walsham in St Nicholas Court precinct. Pictured from left: Rev Paul Cubitt, Michelle Foulkes, Annie Abbs, Paul Oakes and Rob Scammell. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Negotiations are under way to buy and transform one of North Walsham's last remaining eyesores.

Community group Regenerate North Walsham is in talks with the Crown Estate about the 'residual area' of the St Nicholas Court shopping precinct.

If successful, the bid would see the deteriorating walking area resurfaced to a high standard and turned into a quarter acre of public space for entertainment and recreation.

Ideas for the site, built in the early 1970s, include a water feature with a removable stage over it for performances, and benches for people to sit and enjoy views of the neighbouring Grade 1-listed parish church and conservation area.

Regenerate chiefs are trying to persuade the Crown Estate to lower the £12,000 asking price. The group has been given an undisclosed donation by a businessman to cover the cost.

The London management company which used to own the walking areas of the precinct went into administration several years ago and the Crown Estate took over.

But Rebecca Matthews, community regeneration manager with the North Walsham group, said the Crown Estate would not repair or insure the area and several people had injured themselves tripping over loose flagstones.

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'It's tatty, neglected and unloved. As an entrance to the town it's dire. We want to turn it into an attractive and useful public space,' said Mrs Matthews.

? Regenerate, which is becoming a Community Interest Company, is staging a party on Saturday, July 16 from 6pm-10pm on the newly-landscaped site where 4A Market Street once stood. Entry is free. International foods and locally-produced drinks will be on sale and there will also be live music and an exhibition of local art.


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