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‘Noticeable’ changes will be made to historic court building to protect it from rainfall

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“Noticeable” changes will be made to Lynn’s historic court building to better protect it from water damage.Last week, West Norfolk Council granted planning permission for the court building on College Lane to have its lead capping replaced and new rainwater gutters and downpipes installed.The application was submitted by the Ministry of Justice, which cited “ongoing problems with rainwater disposal and weather ingress into the building fabric”.

The court building on College Lane in Lynn has suffered in recent years due to increased rainfall, planning documents say

A heritage statement prepared by Firman Consulting as part of the plans said that as rainfall has increased in the past few years “as the climate has changed and warmed”, there have been more frequent occasions on the site where existing gutters are overwhelmed.“This has led to more frequent soaking of the brickwork walls and now that the mortar joints have been repaired and repointed there is a desire to prevent the gutters being overwhelmed and diminishing the impact of the investment in wall repairs,” the statement said. It added that the Grade II-listed court building provides a “a significant and imposing image” from the street.As part of a previous repair scheme, the gutters were cleaned, gaps in the brickwork were repaired and repointed, and algae growth was cleaned away.A report from the borough council’s planning officers said the newly-approved work will now see the gutters and down pipes replaced with “larger diameter metal rainwater goods”.This will assist in the removal of excessive rainwater from the roofline more quickly and easily, and will replace the capping of the gables with one that projects 50mm from the plane of the roof to “enable water to be wicked away from the masonry and dropped back onto the roof”. The report said this will result in a visual change to the building, but that this is not without precedent as the nearby Grade I-listed Guildhall theatre has similar projecting features at the top of its walls.“The 50mm projection will be noticeable but, it will allow the water to be properly dealt with and will conserve the building for future generations to enjoy,” it added.The plans were subsequently given the green light last week.

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