Hopes trampoline could stay in Norwich’s Southwell Road as gnomes’ eviction day rolls up

Some of the character figures in the gardens around the flats in Southwell Road, which may have to b

Some of the character figures in the gardens around the flats in Southwell Road, which may have to be removed as the council are concerned about trip hazards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Eviction looms large over garden gnomes in Lakenham after talks with council officers, who have branded them a trip hazard, failed to reach a resolution.

Some of the character figures in the gardens around the flats in Southwell Road, which may have to b

Some of the character figures in the gardens around the flats in Southwell Road, which may have to be removed as the council are concerned about trip hazards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

However, hopes have been raised that a children's trampoline will receive a reprieve.

The garden furniture was included in a list of items Norwich City Council declared must be removed from a block of flats in Southwell Road in a letter on May 12.

At a meeting with Norwich City Council officers and two Town Close ward councillors yesterday (May 25), residents were told there may be a possibility to keep at least the trampoline, if they were willing to help fund the insurance.

However, resident John Chewter, 65, said as it stood, the gnomes and other items would have to be gone by June 12.

Hana Dynowski, four, and her brother Wojciech, seven, with their dad, Marek, are upset that they hav

Hana Dynowski, four, and her brother Wojciech, seven, with their dad, Marek, are upset that they have been told their walled garden they believed was private at their flat in Southwell Road is communal, and that they must clear it of toys, the trampoline and trip hazards. With them are other residents affected, from left, Sally and John Chewter, Elinor Close, David King, and Francene Mayes, and Simon Harrison. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017


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Mr Chewter said: 'They said it might be possible if the residents were willing to chip in or otherwise fund the insurance for the trampoline then maybe it could stay. But they said they would have to clarify their position and get back to us.

'As it is now, June 12 is gnome eviction day - that's when they won't have a gnome to go to.'

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The residents have been told their gardens are now 'communal areas', and cannot have trip hazards.

But Mr Chewter said residents were all against the removal of the gnomes and other items from the garden.

The garden area at the flats in Southwell Road, with the front area being communal, and the walled i

The garden area at the flats in Southwell Road, with the front area being communal, and the walled in gardens next to the building which the residents have understood to be private, but now have been notified as also being communal and to be cleared of toys and trip hazards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

He said: 'They say the gnomes are a trip hazard, even if they're right up against the brick wall.

'Everybody wants to keep them in the gardens as they are and nobody is complaining about them.

'There is a ramp up to one of the properties which is about 4ft wide and there is a gap on one side of it. It wouldn't take a lot for someone to twist their ankle on the edge of it, so I would say there is more chance of someone tripping on that than a couple of garden gnomes at the back of a fenced garden.'

An insurance manager said the council was right to raise their concerns with residents if the areas are now communal.

The garden area at the flats in Southwell Road, with the area near the road being communal, and the

The garden area at the flats in Southwell Road, with the area near the road being communal, and the walled in gardens next to the building the residents have understood to be private, but now have been notified as also being communal and to be cleared of toys, such as the children's trampoline, and trip hazards. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Peter Anderson, of Drayton Insurance Services, said: 'I have never heard of anything like this before but the council are right.

'Even if some people are not meant to be in the gardens in the first place, if a person hurts themselves they can sue the council.'

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