UPDATE: Public meeting hears parish council could buy Heacham Park
11:06 17 August 2014
Buying Heacham Park would cost villagers 69p a week on their council tax bills, a public meeting heard today.
Pocahontas and the park
The park, off Hunstanton Road, was originally the grounds of Heacham Hall, which burned down in the 1940s.
It was once home to John Rolfe, who in 1614 married native American Princess Pocahontas.
Rolfe brought his wife to see his ancestral home in Norfolk in 1616, but they settled in Essex, where she died in 1617.
The park also includes a three-acre carp fishing lake called Pocahontas Lake.
An action group was formed to raise the money to buy Heacham Park, when the 50-acre site went on sale for £550,000 in April.
While pledges of several thousand pounds have been received, members fear time is running out to buy the park, where Pocahontas is said to have stayed when she visited Norfolk.
Today’s meeting heard Heacham Parish Council could borrow the money, which would be repaid by council, taxpayers. A show of hands revealed unanimous support for the move.
The vote was taken after the Heacham Park steering group warned that while supporters had pledged £27,000 towards the cost of buying the 44-acre park, other possible buyers had now emerged.
Steering group member and parish councillor Terry Parish said to take out the loan, the council would have to show that taxpayers were in agreement, adding the deal would cost the average Band D taxpayer 69p a week for the 10-year term of the loan.
“I had a takeaway last night and that was a year’s worth of paying for the park,” he said.
Campaigners will now lobby the council when it meets on Tuesday night. For full story, see tomorrow’s EDP.