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Mystery over boarded-up west Norfolk building

PUBLISHED: 17:40 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:20 29 October 2019

The property above Sue Ryder and Peacocks on Bridge Street has been bordered up for a while. Picture: Sarah Hussain

The property above Sue Ryder and Peacocks on Bridge Street has been bordered up for a while. Picture: Sarah Hussain

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Why has this property been boarded-up for years?

Hill House was previously used as flats. Picture: Sarah HussainHill House was previously used as flats. Picture: Sarah Hussain

A boarded-up building above Sue Ryder and Peacocks on Bridge Street in Downham Market has got locals talking.

Hill House, which has been disused for years, has all of its windows blocked off with wooden boards.

The property in question, which was previously used as flats, prompted Downham Market figures to get involved to resolve the issue.

Downham Market Town 
Council says it regularly gets people contacting them and complaining about the state 
of the building.

Elaine Oliver, town clerk, said: "It's been going on since 2014.

"We are concerned about it and we get complaints on councillor surgery days, with people saying that it is not good and we need something done about it.

"We want help from the borough council as we don't know who owns it.

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"It looks bad and people do complain about it."

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss previously got involved to find out what could be done about the situation but nothing came of it and the property remains boarded-up.

Former mayor John Fox said: "I was very disappointed during my time as mayor that I was unable to get it fixed up.

"The landlords at the time were not prepared to pay for the renovations and it has just been left to ruin."

Around 40 years ago Eastern Electricity board showrooms used the building before it became flats.

A West Norfolk Council spokesman said: "This is a Grade II listed Building, which, to our knowledge, was boarded-up two years ago following complaints that the windows were unsafe.

"Our conservation officer was under the impression that the property was going to auction earlier this year.

"If the property was indeed sold at auction, there has not yet been any contact from the owner.

"Although we have not received any third-party complaints, 
we are looking into the situation with a view to seeing what 
actions can be taken to bring the upper floors back into use and 
to return the property to a good state of repair which will also improve its appearance."

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