Sinkhole will shut High Street for SEVEN days - some businesses must use back doors
- Credit: Archant
Part of Sheringham town centre will be closed to all vehicles for the next seven days because of a sinkhole which appeared in the middle of the High Street.
The pavement on the west side of the High Street will also be shut, meaning a number of shops and eateries will not be able to open their front doors to the public.
The sinkhole appeared near Crofters Restaurant at around 1pm today (Saturday, May 25).
A Norfolk Fire and Rescue spokesman said the sinkhole was at least five metres - more than 16ft - deep, and was linked to a burst water main.
After it appeared in the middle of busy Bank Holiday weekend in the resort town locals responded quickly to divert pedestrians and traffic before emergency services arrived at the scene.
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Andrew Munden, chairman of the town's chamber, said: "As a result of the hole appearing this afternoon outside Coopers, the High Street will be closed for all vehicles between Starlings (Chapman's Close) and Pungleperrys for the next seven days.
"Co-Operative Street will also be closed at its junction with High Street.
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"Anglian Water have agreed to open the east side pavement but the west side will remain shut. This will affect Sue Ryder, Straits, Crofters, Coopers and The All Natural Co who will have no access to the front of their premises."
Mr Munden some of the businesses, including Crofters restaurant, were already adapting so they could carry on trading, with an access route being opened up via the rear of the premises.
He said: "Some of these are already arranging access via their back doors. Anglian are arranging road closures and signage and the carnival committee are arranging signage for businesses."
Sheringham's deputy mayor Liz Withington said the community was working together and doing its best to deal with the situation.
Ms Withington said the sinkhole looked like it was about 2ft wide.
Norfolk Police earlier urged people to avoid the area. They said: "Officers are in the High Street in Sheringham after reports a hole has appeared in the road. The High Street is closed at its junctions with Wyndham Street and Church Street, so please avoid the area if possible."