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Bid to build on land where subsiding house was evacuated on Christmas Eve

PUBLISHED: 06:45 01 June 2020

The empty plot (behind the metal fence) where Neil Harrison's end of terrace house on Finkelgate collapsed on Christmas Eve nine years ago. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The empty plot (behind the metal fence) where Neil Harrison's end of terrace house on Finkelgate collapsed on Christmas Eve nine years ago. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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An application to build two new studio apartments on land where a previous property had to be evacuated on Christmas Eve due to subsidence has been submitted to Norwich City Council.

The end terrace house on Finklegate is in danger of collapsing.The end terrace house on Finklegate is in danger of collapsing.

In 2012, a Victorian end-of-terrace house at 16 Finklegate had to be knocked down because subsidence had made the property unsafe and unhabitable.

The problems started on Christmas Eve 2010, when cracks started appearing in the walls of the house.

There were fears the house was sinking so much - dropping by around 30cm - that it could collapse and scaffolding was erected to stabilise it.

Four homes on the street were evacuated and, the following day, signs of subsidence were spotted in the road.

Collapsing end of terrace house in Finklegate, Norwich.; Photo: Bill SmithCollapsing end of terrace house in Finklegate, Norwich.; Photo: Bill Smith

Finklegate was also closed to traffic.

An investigation found a geological feature and a burst underground water-main was what had led to the subsidence.

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The council eventually gave permission for the house to be demolished and that work was completed in April 2012.

Finklegate subsidence.Finklegate subsidence.

Since then, three applications to build on the site have been submitted to the council, one for a three bedroom home in 2016 which was approved but never built.

Then in 2017, two further applications were submitted for a single storey home which was approved but never built.

Now, eight years after the original property was demolished, a new bid to build on the land next to Notre Dame High School has been submitted to the council.

The landowner has also acquired a 1m strip of land to the west of the property, increasing the size of the plot.

Work in progress to demolish the house in Finklegate that was damaged by subsidence.
Photo by Simon FinlayWork in progress to demolish the house in Finklegate that was damaged by subsidence. Photo by Simon Finlay

The application, which has been submitted by Verticus Ltd, states the new property would be “a continuation of the of the traditional Victorian terrace, with a pitched roof, red brick walls and timber sash windows.”

It says: “Rather than being a single dwelling however, this new property will comprise two separate studio apartments, one on the ground floor and another at first floor, accessed via its own staircase from a communal lobby.”

If approved the bid would also see the enclosed communal courtyard at the back of the plot used for shared bins and a cycle storage area.


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