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New lease of life planned for King's Lynn landmark building

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Plans have been drawn up to restore, repair and give a new lease of life to a derelict disused warehouse on Lynn's South Quay.

The 18th century grade 11 listed building was formerly used for grain storage by Sommerfeld and Thomas and was bought in 2018 by West Norfolk Council.

It was on the market with an asking price of £1 million at the time and the council intended it to feature in its blueprint for revitalising and developing the southern end of the Quay.

Now the council has submitted an application to its own planners to carry out repairs to stop further deterioration and make changes so that the heritage asset will lend itself to new use by a future tenant.

The planning statement goes into detail about that current deteriorating condition of the building.

It concludes that, externally, the historic granary warehouse envelope is in reasonable condition, but there are some notable areas of damage and defects which, unchecked, could increase the risk and rate of decay.

The existing pantile roof shows evidence of patch repairs but also water penetration from defects in the roof covering. The brickwork shows signs of saturation, with vegetation and biological growth, owing to the defective rainwater goods. Poor paintwork, spalling brickwork, open mortar joints and damage to the existing doors and windows are further evidence of deterioration. The south façade shows evidence of earlier structures with a high number of open mortar joists. A modern cementitious render has also been applied to the façade affecting the breathability of the building.

To the rear, a modern, 1950’s steel frame abuts the historic granary masonry and the rear historic façade shows signs of cracking above a number of existing windows alongside decay to existing timber shutters and openings.

The report states that a lack of general building maintenance over the past few years has contributed to the problems. The unsightly portal frame to the rear shows significant signs of defects, where glazing to the roof has been shattered, and remains a serious health and safety site risk.

While much of the original internal plan and character of the historic warehouse remains intact. a number of features have been lost, particularly in the 1950’s alterations.

Priority work, says the report, will demolish the unsightly steel portal frame and make a series ofsensitive repairs to the original warehouse to secure the long term use of this heritage asset

ensuring that the interior remains secure and weathertight.

“The works will enhance the setting of the site and provide the opportunity for future tenants of the site to come forward”, says the report.

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