Plans submitted for notorious North Walsham eyesore site
Fresh plans have been submitted which would see one of north Norfolk's most notorious eyesores demolished and replaced with a building in keeping with its Georgian and Victorian neighbours.
The crumbling wreckage of Grade Two-listed 4 Market Street, North Walsham, has blighted a prominent gateway to the historic market town's centre for more than seven years.
Now site owner Mark Tentori has applied to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) for permission to demolish the remaining shell and put a four-storey building in its place, including a shop at ground level and eight flats.
The move has been welcomed by NNDC councillor Virgina Gay, whose ward includes the site, and comes after the council delivered an ultimatum to Mr Tentori, who lives in Bedfordshire, threatening to compulsorily purchase the site if there were further delays.
The proposed development, in the town's Conservation Area, would include the site of the now-closed NNDC toilet block between 4 Market Street and the ancient parish church of St Nicholas.
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In its prime, the quirky, narrow, gabled Market Street building, believed to date from the early 19th century, created an eye-catching view as people entered the town from the Cromer Road direction. Its previous occupants included a printing business and a shop.
Aylsham-based Reynolds Jury Architects, appointed by Mr Tentori, have designed a replacement with features including dormer attic windows and false brick-faced chimneys.
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The firm's statement to planners says: 'Care has been taken, particularly with the view from Market Street, so that the iconic view of rising gables is maintained above the diminutive form of the lowest building where the original outline and gable treatment is to be reinstated, including the shop front.'
The statement adds: '...it is the intention of the proposals to repair the damage of previous decades of neglect and inappropriate buildings.'
The building would be made of 'soft red bricks', with traditional eaves and verges, and roofs would be covered in reclaimed and new clay pantiles.
The flats, which would not have parking spaces, would be aimed at first-time buyers while the small shop would be suitable for a start-up business.
Mrs Gay said: 'It's hopeful to see an application at last, and one which acknowledges the style of the old building. There have been so many disappointments over the years and now I hope that at last it's going to work out.'