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Owners' call for share of cash

PUBLISHED: 16:08 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:56 30 June 2010

OWNERS of properties in a seafront terrace in Great Yarmouth claim they have been overlooked when it comes to sharing out the regeneration cash pot.

And they don't see why they can't be helped in a similar way to homes and properties behind the seafront which qualify for grants under the borough council's Secondary Holiday Area Regeneration Project (SHARP).

OWNERS of properties in a seafront terrace in Great Yarmouth claim they have been overlooked when it comes to sharing out the regeneration cash pot.

And they don't see why they can't be helped in a similar way to homes and properties behind the seafront which qualify for grants under the borough council's Secondary Holiday Area Regeneration Project (SHARP).

They say the borough has spent £1.9m sprucing up properties, hotels and guest houses at other tourist locations in Wellesley Road, Nelson Road South and Camperdown, but not yet on their terrace in the busiest part of the town for holidaymakers.

The Victorian-built Britannia Terrace is Grade II listed, meaning owners have to be careful about alterations or face the wrath of heritage experts and the council.

Chris Symeou, who runs a fish and chip shop on the corner of Britannia Road and Marine Parade, has lived above the chip shop with wife Effie for nearly

40 years and said work was needed to improve the roof

and the sash windows.

However, he said it would cost too much for the property owners to do the work themselves, notwithstanding they had to meet strict criteria for improvements to listed buildings, as planning consent is needed for even simple alterations such as painting and repair work.

He said having given the listed building status in 1985, the borough council should do more to maintain it.

He added: “They have to be answerable to what they started, otherwise take us out of listed status and let us be.”

Mr Symeou sympathised with other property owners in Britannia Terrace who had installed uPVC windows without the consent of the council, risking possible legal action.

Last month, The Mercury reported how the council's development control committee threw out a request from conservation and heritage manager Stephen Earl for enforcement action to be taken against the property owners because the windows did not fit in with a listed building.

But Mr Symeou said he could understand why some had installed new windows, though he had not done so himself, because the existing sash windows could be draughty and cold during the winter months.

Another Britannia Terrace resident, David Pendle, felt he could not carry out improvements because of the council's restrictions.

He said: “What I am unhappy about is that if I want to do anything today I am breaking the law. If I want to install a door lock I am breaking the law. I am sick of it all.”

No one from the council was available for comment.

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