Grand plans to turn court into a home

Grand plans to turn court into a home

Grand plans to turn court into a home

First published in News

THE owner of a former courthouse is hoping to do justice to the building by turning it into a private home.

Plans have been submitted to Tendring Council to change the use of the former Harwich Magistrates’ Court, in Main Road, Dovercourt, into a house.

Owner Barry Myhre, in a letter to the council, said he had “no intention of altering the outside”

of the former courthouse.

Harwich town councillor Maria Fowler has welcomed the application.

She said: “I am pleased because I don’t like to see any buildings empty and it isn’t going to be knocked down. That’s one thing I didn’t want to see.

“It’s a magnificent building.

It’s got history and character. I think it would be a fabulous place to live.”

The building has two court rooms, two cells, interviewrooms and video link rooms. It was last used as a court in March 2012.

It sold at auction in June 2013 for £352,000 – £52,000 above the guide price – but weeks later it was back on the market.

It was suggested the building could be used as care home, school or even as a hotel.

Martin Webb, head coach at Harwich Amateur Boxing Club, which is located behind the former courthouse, said: “It’s good something is happening there.

“It has been empty for nearly two years now and I was concerned it could attract vandals.

“I’m pleased in the sense it will be used properly, which can only be a good thing.

“The only thing we hope is they might reinstate or allow some sort of access for us to get to the units behind.”

Access to the buildings used to be via the magistrates’ court’s driveway, but after it closed, the route was shut.

Groups now have to walk via a path from Highfield Avenue.

Tendring Council has the final say on the planning application.

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