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The story behind these four abandoned homes in rural Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 06:30 24 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:52 26 March 2019

The four abandoned houses in Swannington, Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The four abandoned houses in Swannington, Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

Situated on a quiet country lane in rural Norfolk, this row of abandoned homes has sat empty since 2015.

The four abandoned houses in Swannington, Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe four abandoned houses in Swannington, Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

But four years on from when the last residents moved out, plans are finally in place to demolish and redevelop the site.

Clarion Housing said the white terraced properties at Station Road, Swannington, were once occupied by social housing tenants.

However they were moved out and rehomed due to the houses experiencing problems with damp, inadequate heating and ventilation.

Later this year the properties will be demolished and replaced with 10 new affordable houses.

The four abandoned houses in Swannington, Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe four abandoned houses in Swannington, Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Approved plans submitted to Broadland District Council state the tenure of six of the properties will be “affordable rent” while four others will be under shared ownership.

They will be a mix of two storey and one storey homes.

Original plans lodged in 2015 state the houses were previously owned by Wherry Housing Association.

The site was transferred to the association by Broadland council in 1990 and has been used to provide affordable housing ever since.

The four abandoned houses in Swannington, Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe four abandoned houses in Swannington, Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The 2015 planning papers said: “Although none of the units suffer from any structural defects, each unit experiences problems with dampness caused by the nature of their construction (solid brick walls) and their inadequate heating and ventilation.”

The site was recently visited by two “urban explorers” who recorded themselves looking around the back of the properties.

Suitcases, children’s toys and sofas had all been left in the gardens.

A badly damaged caravan and shed at the site appeared to have been broken into and the rear walls of the homes were daubed with graffiti.

The four abandoned houses in Swannington, Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodThe four abandoned houses in Swannington, Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

A spokesman for Clarion Housing Group, which submitted the reserved matters application for the site, said it was committed to delivering 10 new affordable homes.

The spokesman said: “We took the decision to rehouse our residents in 2015 after an independent survey recommended that the original homes be redeveloped.

“Final planning approval for the redevelopment was granted in December 2018 and work is due to get underway in the autumn.”

Broadland council approved the plans on December 20 last year.

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