Historic Norfolk landmark loses listed building status

An historic Norfolk landmark, which collapsed two years ago, has been taken off the listed buildings register, opening the way for the site to be rebuilt as a commercial building or community facility.

English Heritage has decided to drop the Grade II status of the Ice House in Long Stratton because only the base remained of the original 19th century building since the collapse on New Year's Day 2011 and much of the historic context had been lost to 20th century homes and shops built around the site.

Listed building status is designed to preserve historic buildings and places restrictions on changes that can be made during redevelopment.

The Ice House site, which overlooks the A140, has stood vacant since the collapse of the landmark, which became a familiar sight to motorists travelling to and from Norwich.

However, a group of villagers has expressed an interest in reviving the land, possibly as a multi-purpose facility to be used by community groups.

Researcher Brian Webb has instigated the campaign along with fellow Ice House enthusiast Robert Maidstone and Mr Webb said he hoped South Norfolk Council would be able to take out a compulsory purchase order on the land so a new community facility could be built.

He added: 'Whatever happens, we don't want the saga since the collapse to go on and we want to see what the community can do to tidy up the site for the community.'

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Genealogist and South Norfolk councillor Terry Blowfield successfully traced the owner of the landmark, but JB Properties Ltd, the firm that used to own the site, was dissolved in 2000 and the land is now owned by the Crown.

The village parish council had considered rebuilding the landmark, which was part of a manor house demolished 50 years ago, but decided the cost was too much to justify rebuilding when public money was involved.

The Ice House was part of a manor house which was demolished 50 years ago and ice would have been stored inside during the winter months and the exterior covered with six feet of earth to preserve it until needed in the summer.

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