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Norwich shopping centre's pot-hole problem may finally be fixed

Potholes at Earlham House shopping centre, Norwich.

Potholes at Earlham House shopping centre, Norwich.

Archant © 2010

People have been given hope that pot-holes which have blighted a city shopping centre's car park in recent years will finally be fixed by the end of the month.

"That work was completely inadequate. They basically filled the pot-holes with stones; it was just a surface dressing."

Norwich Green Party deputy leader Adrian Ramsay

Since 2007, Norwich Green Party has been campaigning with local families who use Earlham House Shopping Centre, in Earlham Road, to try to solve the problems.

They submitted a petition signed by nearly 1,000 people last year and thought they had made some progress last March.

The then owners of the premises, Relay Arch, were told by Norwich City Council as a last resort that if the repair was not done then they would do it themselves and bill the owners for the cost.

This prompted a reaction but Adrian Ramsay, deputy leader of the Norwich Green Party, said: “That work was completely inadequate.

“They basically filled the pot-holes with stones; it was just a surface dressing. It was not the proper job that the council required and we have been arguing ever since that the council should continue to try and enforce the work.

“What residents frequently tell us is that the potholes make it extremely dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, because they are both deep and wide.

“There is also a lot of flooding in the car park because of the drainage problems and this means that when they pot-holes are flooded they are obscured, making them even more dangerous.”

However, now Green councillors have discovered that there is renewed reason for optimism as a new owner took over the centre shortly before Christmas.

Council health and safety officers have issued the new owners, Top Investments Limited, with an Improvement Notice.

The notice gives the owners until April 1 2011 to address the safety issues or face legal action.

Mr Ramsay added: “The new company have said that they intend to do the work in late January... so we will have to see whether that happens or not.”

Managing director of 4D Properties Limited Doig Rudling, which managed the site on behalf of owners Relay Arch, accepts that the work last year was not up to standard but does not feel it was his company’s fault. He said: “It was down to the contractors that the job wasn’t satisfactory and we never paid them for the work. However, hindsight is a wonderful thing and no councillors took issue with the work when it was first completed.”

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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