Call to tackle Norwich’s eyesore buildings

Tackling eyesore derelict sites around Norwich, such as pubs which have stood empty for years, will come under the spotlight when city council leaders travel to Westminster to talk about the problem with government officials.

Norwich City Council leader Brenda Arthur and city councillors Bert Bremner and Ralph Gayton will go to London next month to see if local councils could be given more powers to force owners of derelict sites to take action.

The meeting was sparked after concerns were raised over the King's Arms pub in Mile Cross Road, which has been empty since 2000.

Former council leader Steve Morphew had called on Norwich North MP Chloe Smith to see if the government's Localism Bill could be amended to hand councils more control.

Miss Smith took up the issue and received a response from the Department for Communities and Local Government asking for a meeting with the city council to discuss the issues further.

That meeting will take place on September 21 and Mr Bremner said: 'There are many of these sadly abandoned buildings around the city and they have just been left to decay.

'We know, from our conversations with residents, that they wish something could be done about these sites - if they were developed or used as a community resource it could make such a difference to an area.'

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Miss Smith said: 'This is a positive move to work together to try to tackle problems like this.'

Other privately owned buildings and building sites around the city which have been left in a derelict state include former pub sites such as The Grove in Cadge Road, Earlham, The Shoemakers at Earlham West Centre and the site of the former Earl of Leicester on Dereham Road.

• Have you been trying to get action taken on an eyesore site near you? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email