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Nightmare on Elm Hill over: Road closure to protect listed house made permanent

PUBLISHED: 12:31 31 December 2018 | UPDATED: 15:18 31 December 2018

Elm Hill in Norwich, at the junction with Waggon and Horses Lane Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Elm Hill in Norwich, at the junction with Waggon and Horses Lane Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

The nightmare on Elm Hill is over for a Norwich house repeatedly struck by vans, as temporary measures to protect it have been made permanent.

A house on Elm Hill, which has been blighted by vehicles crashing into it. Picture David HannantA house on Elm Hill, which has been blighted by vehicles crashing into it. Picture David Hannant

In July, Norwich City Council opted to close the junction between Elm Hill and Waggon and Horses Lane in the historic part of the city, in what was planned as an experimental measure.

It came after the council received complaints that high-sided vehicles such as vans were regularly scraping the grade II listed house on the junction corner.

City Hall had initially planned to trial three closure points along Waggon and Horses Lane over the course of 18 months, before deciding on which - if any - to make permanent.

However, the Norwich highways agency committee has since decided to first phase of the trial was successful enough to warrant making it permanent.

This phase saw the road closed at the end of Waggon and Horses Lane that the house sits, close to Mandell’s Gallery.

Members of the committee agreed the closure had produced the desired effect and that there was no need to trial the alternative points.

A report to the committee said: “The risk of vehicle collision to the house has been entirely eliminated, without causing any detriment to the function of the local highway network.”

The permanent closure will, however, see a change in the type of bollard used for the stoppage, after receiving complaints from the art gallery around the wooden one currently in place.

The committee instead agreed to replace it with a narrower cast-iron bollard, for which the gallery staff would be given a key.

A spokesman for Mandell’s said the closure had made life awkward for its staff, who were having to reverse down Waggon and Horses Lane instead of turning at the front of the gallery.

They said: “Changing the bollard will make a huge difference to us, so hopefully this is a solution that will help everybody.”

The two other test closure points were either side of the Del Ballroom.

The person living in the house was contacted, but did not wish to make a comment.

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