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Bid to protect historic building could see it bought by council

PUBLISHED: 11:14 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:14 30 April 2019

The Church Rooms opposite St George's Theatre at 145, King Street, are in need of repair. The council has issued a legal notice for the work to be done and the deadline has now expired Picture: Google Maps

The Church Rooms opposite St George's Theatre at 145, King Street, are in need of repair. The council has issued a legal notice for the work to be done and the deadline has now expired Picture: Google Maps

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The council is looking to protect the Church Rooms in King Street, Great Yarmouth, and has served a repairs notice ordering the owner to carry out urgent works Picture: Liz CoatesThe council is looking to protect the Church Rooms in King Street, Great Yarmouth, and has served a repairs notice ordering the owner to carry out urgent works Picture: Liz Coates

A neglected building in Great Yarmouth's historic King Street is being tackled with a legal notice ordering the owner to repair it.

Officials at Great Yarmouth Borough Council say efforts to encourage works to be undertaken at 145 King Street, the former Church Rooms opposite St George's Theatre, had so far failed.

Darren Barker, of the authority's conservation section, said a repairs' order had now expired and the council was considering its next steps.

Options included doing the work themselves and a putting a charge against the Grade II listed property or buying it under a compulsory purchase order.

MORE: Vital link to Medieval Great Yarmouth is saved - but needs a £500,000 makeover

He said the building's striking facade with its imposing columns made it stand out in the historic street, once home to the town's richest merchants who lived in lavish houses on the sweeping thoroughfare.

Mr Barker said the dangerous state of the building came to light when workers high up on scaffolding opposite saw loose brick-work on parapets that was in danger of toppling.

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Work to make them safe had been carried out as a matter of urgency, he added, but much more needed to be done to make sure the building did not decline further.

He said: “It has been neglected for a long time. We knew the building was not in the best condition but we did not realise how bad it was.

“The process that we go through is that we write to the owner two or three times to advise them of the work that needs to be done as a matter of urgency pointing out that if the work is not carried out an order can be served.

“A repairs' notice has been served and it could potentially lead to a compulsory purchase order.”

The building had been a furniture/carpet shop but had been used for storage for around 15 years.

Owners of listed buildings have to keep them wind and water tight and free from collapse to prevent any further deterioration.

The building, which once hosted the church Sunday school as well as an amateur boxing club, was mostly valued for its exterior which was “a bit curious” but made an important contribution to the streetscape, Mr Barker added.

The building dates from 1891.

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