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‘It’s council laziness’ - arson-hit city flats still not fixed four months on

PUBLISHED: 12:35 10 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:46 10 January 2019

Simon Crawford at Clifton Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Simon Crawford at Clifton Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

The city council has apologised for a four-month delay in fixing an arson-hit block of flats in Norwich.

Clifton Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodClifton Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Fire burnt through the building’s external wall rendering after two bins were set alight on a city estate in September last year.

The blaze melted guttering and an air vent, and left black scorch marks up the side of the three-story block at Clifton Close.

But four months after the fire, repairs are yet to be carried out - despite complaints from the local residents’ association.

Simon Crawford, who lives at Clifton Close, accused the council of laziness.

Clifton Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodClifton Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

He said: “Since being reported to the council in September 2018, no remedial repairs have been made.

“The burnt end of the building is still there for all to see, and the melted air vents and third floor guttering is just hanging off the building.

“More and more of the tax payers money will presumably be required to fix the ever-increasing repair requirements.

“I think it’s just council laziness.”

Clifton Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodClifton Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Mr Crawford, who is a committee member of the Russell Street Community Area Residents’ Association, said the two bins which were set alight had also not been replaced.

Police were called to the flats, in the Heigham Grove area of the city, at about 11pm on September 10 to reports of a fire.

A Norfolk police spokesman said the incident was being treated as arson as it appeared as though the bins were set on fire.

No one has been arrested, but police are still appealing for witnesses.

Clifton Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodClifton Close, Norwich. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said a housing officer attended the address shortly after the fire and “immediately” requested repairs and a bin replacement.

The spokesman said: “We’re really sorry for the delay in this work being completed in this instance, and will make sure that this is followed up as soon as possible.

“Residents are encouraged to get in touch with us directly about any outstanding repair issues so that we can address them.”

The officer requested repairs to the wall rendering, guttering, plastic air vent and loose roof tiles. It also requested for the smoke damaged areas to be cleaned.

• The Russell Street Community Area Residents’ Association aims to improve its local community. To get involved follow the group on Facebook.

• Anyone who has information regarding the arson should call Norfolk police on 101.

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