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Tea room plans raise the temperature in Cromer

PUBLISHED: 20:28 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:08 01 September 2017

A computer generated image of the proposed tea room at Fearns Fields in Cromer. Picture: MIKE LEE ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES.

A computer generated image of the proposed tea room at Fearns Fields in Cromer. Picture: MIKE LEE ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES.

Archant

You might not think that a new tea room in Cromer would be sufficiently controversial to raise the hackles of residents.

But 88 letters, for and against, were received by North Norfolk District Council, ahead of a meeting to discuss the proposals on Thursday, August 31.

Councillors were recommended to approve the application for a new tea room near the bowls club at Fearns Park, but decided to make a site visit, after a bad-tempered meeting.

Jonathan Phillips, Barry Mason, and Susan Jones spoke against the plans at the meeting. They were concerned about loss of open space, invasion of privacy at nearby bungalows, and warned that the site regularly flooded.

Three people also spoke in favour of the proposals including the applicant Karen Bishop, who said: “I hope we can create a community hub.

“I’ve been shocked at a few of the residents’ concerns. We plan to close the tea room by 6pm each night.

“We will have a disabled toilet and baby changing facilities, but they will not be for use by the public. I have every intention of running a successful business.”

Another supporter Jackie Browning added: “A tea room is a much-needed amenity for the park, and the toilet and baby changing facilities would be a Godsend.

“Some of the objections, such as saying that it would attract paedophiles, are unbelievable. “Most of the negative comments are unjustified. It would improve the area and bring the park back to life.”

After listening to the debate, councillor Vivienne Uprichard proposed a site visit, which was backed by the local member, Suffield Park ward councillor Nigel Pearce. He said earlier that it would be an addition to the area, if it just stayed as a tea room.

Councillor Sarah Butikofer questioned whether it was the right location, and fellow councillor Sue Arnold called for a condition to be imposed, that no music should be played outside.

The plans are for a timber-clad building selling hot food and drink with an outside seating area.

There were 23 letters of objection. But the application was backed by Cromer Town Council, and there were 65 letters of support.

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