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Dismay after residents lose garages

PUBLISHED: 09:22 08 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:49 06 July 2010

NUMEROUS council-owned garages look set to be demolished in parts of Lowestoft, to the dismay of people who use them.

The decision to knock down about a dozen garages rented from Waveney District Council has infuriated residents of Normanston ward.

NUMEROUS council-owned garages look set to be demolished in parts of Lowestoft, to the dismay of people who use them.

The decision to knock down about a dozen garages rented from Waveney District Council has infuriated residents of Normanston ward.

Officials insist that the buildings, situated between Fir Lane and Normanhurst Close, are being demolished for safety reasons and say the decision to knock them down is not connected in any way to the nearby fire station development.

However, residents were only told of the council's decision in a letter a month or so ago.

It notified those who leased garages that they would have to vacate them by December 31.

For 73-year-old Valerie Robinson and her 83-year-old husband Fred, the decision could not have come at a worse time.

They have rented a garage for almost 35 years and claimed that the council knew it would have to demolish the buildings for some six months.

Mrs Robinson said: “I just think it's disgusting the way we've been treated.

“Their attitude has been awful, and how can they expect us to clear everything within 29 days?”

A spokesman for Waveney said: “The safety and security of those renting property from the council, be it a garage or a home, is paramount.

“Following a recent maintenance inspection, an urgent decision had to be taken as the garages were found to be unsound and no longer fit for purpose.

“The council did not want to risk tenants continuing to use them, and so they will shortly be demolished.

“The garages bring in minimal rent, and this income was insufficient to cover the cost of the extensive work required to remedy the numerous issues, plus any ongoing maintenance.”

The spokesman added: “Origin-ally, one month's notice was given, which was over and above the required period of one week.

“This has since been extended to the end of January, giving our tenants a total of eight weeks notice of our intentions.

“In addition, efforts continue to be made to assist those affected with finding alternative provision.”

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