'Pull your finger out': Clive Lewis blasts 'eyesore' scaffolding still up in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 16:44 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:44 09 January 2020
Clive Lewis has told the managers of a city centre high rise to "pull their fingers out" and fix "eyesore" scaffolding which has been up in the city centre for 10 months.
The Norwich South MP questioned why property managers for Westlegate Tower have not rectified a cladding problem after a chunk blew off during high winds in March last year.
Watsons Property, which runs Westlegate Tower, said it is "continuing to monitor the situation".
Mr Lewis said: "The scaffolding on Westlegate Tower and on a nearby building is an eyesore in the city centre. Local businesses are being hit because of the problem and need action now to make sure similar problems will not occur again.
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"Tenants in the building are also being inconvenienced - the property managers need to pull their finger out and get it sorted. Property managers get a lot of money to run these buildings and we need to see some progress.
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"This also highlights the imbalance of power between the property owners and tenants. The law currently gives tenants little power to force action from building owners, who suffer as a result."
Watsons Property said: "Works on Westlegate are currently ongoing. These situations are always highly complex to resolve when there are many key parties involved. We are continuing to monitor the situation."
Ward councillor Sandra Bogelian said: "I am surprised that this issue has not been resolved yet as I was under the impression that it was supposed to be fixed with new cladding.
"However, because this is a private development I would not be privy to know what decisions were made or where the hold up is."
Westlegate Tower was damaged on March 12 following 60mph winds during Storm Gareth.
Westlegate, a pedestrian thoroughfare, was closed fully and then partially until it reopened on March 22.
Businesses dubbed the closure "crippling" at the time, saying footfall had fallen by half.