Concerns grow over alleyway next to historic town wall which continues to attract anti-social behaviour

The alleyway underneath the Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Joseph Norton

The alleyway underneath the Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Joseph Norton - Credit: Archant

An alleyway which runs alongside Great Yarmouth's historic town wall continues to be a site which attracts anti-social behaviour, a report has shown.

Drug use and urinating are just two of a number of issues that a report issued to the borough council's Economic Development Committee has identified.

The alleyway of concern links Regent Road to Market Gates, passing under the shopping centre above leading to the public toilets.

The borough council has attempted to block off the passageway by installing a gate to help prevent anti-social behaviour which has been a reported issue for almost a year. No decision to close the Market Gates toilets will be made until the Marketplace redevelopment is confirmed.

But Historic England have blocked these proposals because of the impact they believe the gating would have on the borough's historical wall.

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The Economic and Development Committee had previously allocated £15,000 in October 2017 to fund this work.

Chairman of the committee, Barry Coleman, is concerned by the ongoing issue surrounding the alleyway. He said: 'I'm not satisfied with what's going on as the anti-social behaviour is still a big concern for us. People walking on top of the wall is also a health and safety issue.

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'We're disappointed that we've not been able to resolve the issue yet.'

The report found that young people have been accessing the town wall 'to run along the top'. People use the steps and alleyway to 'misuse drugs - both smoking and injecting' and 'people urinate in the covered part of the alleyway - both in the archways and against the wall of the public loo.'

A number of short term initiatives have been undertaken to manage the issue whilst it is still being resolved. These include local homeless charity, Herring House Trust, engaging with people sleeping rough in this area to determine their housing needs. Police officers patrolling the area on a more frequent basis to 'monitor' the area and 'act as a deterrent'. Great Yarmouth Borough services and Market Gates also undertook more frequent cleansing of the area on an 'as and when needed basis rather than per 'schedule''.

Town centre manager, Jonathan Newman, said: 'The main concerns we have are in the evenings when the toilets are shut. This leads to problems with the area requiring further cleaning.'

Further discussions are to be had on the issue at a council meeting next month.

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