A derelict eyesore in a Lynn shopping area could be transformed into housing under new plans.
The former Courts shop has been blighting St James’ Street for more than a decade but the boarded up facade could soon be replaced with nine homes.
W Spice Building Ltd wants to put up seven terraced houses and two apartments on the town centre site.
The move comes as West Norfolk Council tries to secure a £1.5 million Heritage Lottery Grant to give the St Margaret’s and St Nicholas conservation area a make-over. Property owners could receive a grant to help improve dilapidated shop fronts or money could be spent on improving the street scene.
Traders in St James’ Street have welcomed the news the derelict eyesore could be used for housing.
Jim and Christine Perkins run the Crystalline store and hope the design will fit in with the historic area.
Mrs Perkins said: “It looks terrible at the moment and the more people we get down here the better. This is a secondary shopping area with hairdressers and beauty shops so people only come down if they are going to those places.”
Mr Perkins, who sits on Norfolk County Council, said: “This is an historic area leading to the Saturday Market Place. The new houses would have to be in keeping with the rest of the buildings down here.”
Tony Winfield, who runs the Record Shop opposite the run-down Courts building, has also welcomed the plans.
He said: “The building has been an eyesore for 14 years so any improvement would be well received.”
A planning application was lodged with West Norfolk Council on Thursday last week.
W Spice Building Ltd hopes to create seven terraced houses on the ground and first floors with the two apartments on the second floor.
The application’s design and access statement adds: “This application proposes good use of the resources to provide town centre housing, making use of sustainable resources,improving the townscape and supporting the town centre strategy.”
The former Hog’s Head in Lynn’s High Street was sold in December, prompting hopes for a new lease of life.
The bar closed in 2008 when the Laurel Pub Company called time due to the impact of the smoking ban and difficult trading conditions.