December 4 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Work to demolish a 1943 Second World War air raid shelter has been started at a Norwich chapel.
The air raid shelter in the east garden of the Octagon Unitarian Chapel in Colegate is being pulled down after Norwich City Council gave permission earlier in the year.
The trustees of the chapel have been wanting the air raid shelter to be removed for many years as they believe it is a health and safety hazard, as well as a restriction to the full potential of the chapel’s garden.
The demolition began yesterday and is expected to cost in the region of £10,000, which is being funded by the chapel.
The chapel’s congregation has been fundraising for its new garden for three years already.
Once the structure is demolished the site will be levelled to the surrounding gardens and restored to grass and flowerbeds, which will primarily be used by children in the Octagon Chapel Sunday Club. Iris Voegeli, chairman of the chapel’s trustees, said ‘We are so grateful to all those who have given so generously of their time and money towards achieving this long-awaited improvement to the garden. The children in the Sunday Club have come up with many ideas that we will try to incorporate into what will be their garden.”
An historical survey has been completed and entered into the Norfolk Historic Environment Record, held by Norfolk County Council, and a footprint will be left to mark the site.
When the city council approved the plans in January, its report stated: “The proposed demolition of the air raid shelter is considered to be acceptable given the improvements that it will make to the setting of the adjoining listed buildings and the wider City Centre Conservation Area.”
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