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    KL1 Radio Local Radio for West Norfolk

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    EPISODE 35 OF THE FARMING SOCIAL HUB PODCAST

Local News

Lynn residents angry at dilapidated house with overgrown garden

todayMarch 29, 2021 4

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Despairing residents have accused West Norfolk Council of turning a blind eye to the state of a house which has blighted their neighbourhood for nearly 40 years.

The saga of 18 Kent Road, Lynn, has been rumbling on since the early 1980s and they say that in spite of a High Court victory, media coverage and endless complaints, nothing has changed.

Gordon Dodds has lived in Kent Road for 34 years and his front room window looks out over the semi-detached house which is in a dilapidated state with an overgrown garden. “It is not a pretty sight,” he said.

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Some hope came in 2002 when the High Court granted a possession order to the council if the owner Alvin Monen did not carry out work to the house in a specified time. A group of residents attended the hearing and came home hoping that their problems would soon be over.

“That order was not pursued,” said another nearby resident, Gordon Edge, aged 82. “It was a lost opportunity. Now the house is in an advanced state of dereliction and is uninhabitable.

“It is a complete eyesore, an environmental disgrace and, I am told, devalues all of the nearby properties by about £10,000.

“The guttering is falling down, windows look as though they will fall out and the garden is a jungle.

“I and others have made frequent approaches to the council to have the matter resolved, and while promise after promise has been given, no serious attempt has ever been made by the council to get the property owner to bring the building back into a habitable condition. Recently we have submitted questions for the council meetings but they have refused to hear them as they relate to an identifiable property.”

The first complaints were received in 1982 and the council stepped in to do clearance work in 1984 and again in 1998. Requests by the authority to buy or let the house were refused.

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The residents say that at one point a 30ft static caravan was moved into the back garden, a tarpaulin has been covering part of the roof since 2012, the chimney stack is in a dangerous state and rats have been seen on the pavement outside.

Mr Dodds’ latest letter to the council also expressed concern about houses in the area being devalued. He asked: “Can the WNBC take urgent action to resolve why this house is still unoccupied and that all outstanding costs associated with this house from past and current actions are brought up to date as a matter of urgency.

“I can appreciate that actions in the past cannot be necessarily equated to today but as far as I am concerned the facts of the past are still with me today whenever I look out of my window.”

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He said that the owner, who has not been seen recently, did carry out a small amount of work at one time. All we get from the council is that it is monitoring the sutation.”

Jo Rust is Springwood ward representative on the council and lives quite close by so she knows the property and has “utmost sympathy” with the residents.

“When I was canvassing for election to the council I hoped that I would be able to resolve the issue for them,” she said.

“I keep raising the matter with the council officers. I understand they have to follow certain procedures but it looks and feels as if nothing has been done. It is disappointing.”

West Norfolk Council was contacted but said there was “no comment at this time”.



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