Questions asked over future of burnt-out Norwich 'drugs den'
PUBLISHED: 13:52 07 February 2019 | UPDATED: 07:02 08 February 2019
People living in an area of Norwich have urged the council to take action over a boarded-up house which was destroyed by fire last year.
A blaze ripped through the three-storey house in Coslany Street on Saturday, September 29 last year, with passers-by kicking in the door in a bid to rescue anyone who might have been trapped inside.
But the council-owned property was empty, and in the coming days people living nearby said it had been used as a “drugs den” since a previous tenant moved out.
People living in the street say they have been calling on Norwich City Council to restore the property, which remains boarded up, with a skip, which arrived before Christmas, sitting outside.
Bob Baker, who lives nearby, is among those who has been putting pressure on the council.
He said: “There are people sleeping on the roads and it’s a rare piece of council housing that should be in use. They are really good houses around here, and you could get a big family in that house.
“The fact that it was burnt down is very unfortunate, but we need it repaired as quickly as possible so it can go towards helping homelessness.
“It’s reprehensible to have a house empty that people could be living in. If this is a one-off then let’s just get it sorted.”
At the time of the fire, Norfolk police said they were treating it as arson and had launched an investigation.
On Thursday, the force said no suspects had yet been identified.
A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said work was ongoing, with assessments being undertaken at the property.
“We thank residents for their patience while our contractors complete a full assessment of the repairs required to this property, and work with our housing team to plan the best long-term solution for it,” they said.
“Any residents who are in touch with us about this matter will continue to be the first to know of any updates.”
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