Agenda item

Public Questions and Statements

To consider any questions or statements received from members of the public.


The Chairman invited Susan Parry to speak. Mrs Parry said that she was a resident of Fakenham and owned a rental property in Newman’s Court which was behind 9 Norwich Street. On the hoarding which was now in front of the dilapidated building of 9 Norwich Street, it stated ‘NNDC working for Fakenham’. She questioned whether this was the case. In September 2019, the already crumbling property developed a serious crack across its frontage. In October 2021, NNDC served an urgent works notice. In May 2022, full height scaffolding was erected and in early 2023, a wrap was put around the building with pictures of historic Fakenham on the front. Then, in the autumn of 2023, NNDC said that a decision would be reached on the way forward by the end of the year. She said that the carbuncle remained in the centre of the town and although it was not of the Council’s making, its solution lay entirely in NNDC’s hands. She said that from where she stood, NNDC was not currently working for Fakenham. She thanked Cllr Vickers for her support.


The Chairman then invited Ms V Strangways-Booth to speak. She began by saying that she owned Venetia’s Yarn Shop which was directly opposite the derelict site of 9 Norwich Street, Fakenham. She urged the Council to try and resolve the situation as soon as possible. The scaffolding filled the view from her shop and it looked terrible. In addition, it was dangerous as people had to step into the road to walk past it. She said that behind the hoarding there was a huge amount of rubbish which attracted rats and pigeons. Ms Strangways-Booth went onto say that the centre of Fakenham was slowly dying shop by shop and no business would come to a dying town centre. It no longer looked economically viable. She also thanked Cllr Vickers for her support.


Cllr A Brown said that he wanted to speak as someone who was most affected by the structural damage that occurred in 2019. Personally, he said that he would also wish to see a resolution but agreed that it was a complex situation.


Cllr T FitzPatrick sought clarification on Cllr Brown’s interest and whether it was pecuniary. He said if it was, then he would be disqualified from speaking. 

The Leader, Cllr Adams, said that Cllr Brown had an interest as he was a leaseholder for 9 Norwich Street and had been impacted by the situation. Cllr Brown declared that he had a pecuniary interest.


Cllr Adams said that it was not a budgetary consideration yet. The Council had very limited powers to secure the re-use or sale of a property and consent needed to be sought to any work undertaken to the site. He confirmed that the Council was intending to do more work on the front of the site to clean it up, with the freeholder’s consent. He felt a solution was closer, adding that the building had been made structurally safe and there were ongoing discussions with the freeholder to seek sale of the site. In conclusion, he said that this site remained a priority for NNDC and said that he was happy to meet with the public speakers and any other residents to discuss their concerns.