Retirees still face lengthy detours as crumbling church wall goes unfixed

The footpath has been closed for almost 2 months

The footpath has been closed for five months - Credit: Sarah Burgess

A lifeline church walkway remains shut off to the public five months after being closed for "urgent repairs".

St Margaret's Alley in Norwich has been blocked since May, with residents living in the over-55s retirement complex flanking the church still facing lengthy detours to reach St Benedicts Street.

Pauline Taylor, Linda Chilver, Dorothia McGregor, and Mike Ball

From left to right: Pauline Taylor, Linda Chilver, Dorothia McGregor, and Mike Ball. All are unhappy about the closure of their lifeline walkway on St Margaret's Alley. - Credit: Sarah Burgess

In July, a spokeswoman for Norwich Historic Churches Trust said it had been closed "in the interests of safety".

She said: "The flint wall facing the alley is stable, but there was enough risk of flint coming loose that closure was necessary. The repairs are in the planning phase."

Norfolk County Council said the walkway closure was to facilitate "urgent repairs to the church wall".

railings st margaret's church

The barricade has been secured to the railings, so in case of a fire elderly residents would not be able to get over it - Credit: Sarah Burgess

But when probed by the Evening News for an update about when the repairs would occur, the Churches Trust did not respond.

Resident Mike Ball said: "You can't just shut off a public walkway like that without notice, and for this long."

The initial six-month closure period granted to the charity ends in November.

St Margaret's Church in St Benedicts Street, Norwich
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

St Margaret's Church in St Benedicts Street, Norwich PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk


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