New home to be built where house collapsed on Christmas Eve 10 years ago

Police and the fire service at the Finkelgate home on Christmas Eve 2010. Pic: Denise Bradley.

Police and the fire service at the Finkelgate home on Christmas Eve 2010. Pic: Denise Bradley. - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2010

A new home is to be built on the site of a terraced house pulled down after it began to collapse due to subsidence on Christmas Eve a decade ago.

The Finkelgate home before it was demolished. Photo: Bill Smith

The Finkelgate home before it was demolished. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2011

The Victorian, end-of-terrace house, at 16 Finkelgate had to be knocked down after cracks started to appear in the side of the home on Christmas Eve, 2010.

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

It was one of four homes on the street which were evacuated and, the following day, signs of subsidence were spotted in the road, which was shut to traffic.

The road was shut for months and an investigation found the subsidence had been triggered by a geological feature and a burst underground water-main. The city council gave permission for the property to be demolished in 2012.

Cracks appeared in the Finkelgate home. Photo: Bill Smith

Cracks appeared in the Finkelgate home. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2011

Permission has been granted by planners at Norwich City Council for a new home to be built where it once stood.

Officers used delegated powers to approve plans lodged by Surrey-based Verticus Ltd for a two-bedroom home at the site.


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The applicant had initially sought permission for two apartments, but that was changed after discussions with planning officers.

While officers gave the home the green light, one of the conditions is that it cannot be built until an archaeological written scheme of investigation has been submitted and approved.

Police and the fire service at Finkelgate on Christmas Eve 2010, when the problem first emerged. Pic

Police and the fire service at Finkelgate on Christmas Eve 2010, when the problem first emerged. Pic: Denise Bradley. - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2010

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That is because Norfolk Historic Environment Service said: “The proposed development sits within the medieval core of the city of Norwich, within an area of high archaeological sensitivity.”

Permission for a three-bedroom house was granted in 2016, but that was never built and two further applications in 2017 were also approved, but construction never happened.

Neil Harrison, who owned the house, last year relived the moment cracks started to appear in the home he had lived in for 25 years.

He spent years fighting over an insurance claim. While he said the way he was treated during that battle was “horrible”, he said: “The key bit is that it’s just a house. I had to keep things in perspective. I would rather my house fall down than being ill or anything serious. It can happen to anyone.”

Neil Harrison, who was living in the house when it collapsed. back at Finkelgate in 2019. Picture: D

Neil Harrison, who was living in the house when it collapsed. back at Finkelgate in 2019. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

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