Popular Gorleston car park to remain free

PUBLISHED: 12:53 13 January 2013

Marine Parade car park on the clifftop in Gorleston. 

Picture: James Bass

Marine Parade car park on the clifftop in Gorleston. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

VICTORIOUS residents cheered as the council’s leader announced the most popular seaview car park in Gorleston will remain free.

There was outcry when it emerged that pay and display machines were being considered for Marine Parade car park, on Gorleston cliffs, to help make £10m of cuts in the next three years.

But protest saw it bumped from a cabinet agenda in November 2012, and the U-turn was announced at Tuesday’s Gorleston Area Committee meeting at Gorleston library.

Leader Trevor Wainwright said: “We took control of the council in May 2012 and we’ve got a huge financial hole to address.

“We’re the worst affected council in the UK and what we’ve had to do is look at every area of spending possible.

“We looked at the car park in Marine Parade, and having looked at this again we’ve decided to withdraw it and there will be no paid parking at the Marine Parade car park.”

The announcement was greeted by a round of applause from the crowd of more than 60 people which filled the library.

Charges for the ‘pay per view’ scheme were first attempted five years ago but dropped after fierce opposition from locals.

A report to cabinet had stated the 80 space car park would generate £9,000 a year based on 30 cars parking there over 250 days.

Set up costs were quoted as being £5,040 and the annual maintenance bill at around £1,200.

Those at this week’s Gorleston Area Committee meeting were updated on projects across the town.

A drinking water supply has been installed on Gorleston prom, an unruly bush under Ravine Bridge was due to be trimmed this week and fly-tipped waste at West Quay, near the lifeboat shed, has been removed.

Three seafront shelters on the prom have been demolished, with steel support structures for the replacements arriving this week and the concrete structures to be installed from next week. Completion is anticipated by March 2013.

A working group to improve Williamson’s Lookout is due to be set up shortly, and consultants are investigating how best to refurbish balustrades at Ravine Bridge.

A report with costed options will be presented to councillors at a later date.

Efforts to list the horse trough at the seafront have been delayed as English Heritage has requested further information, and a bid to relocate the children’s trampoline site at the seafront is still a work in progress.

The White Lion steps are now partially open, but legal wrangling between the developer and Norfolk County Council - after the collapse of a wall onto the steps - is still ongoing.

Consultation has launched on problem parking at Woodfarm Lane, and councillors reported the planning application for Sainsburys at Beacon Park has yet to be received.

A Gorleston conservation committee is to be formed to help protect “significant” buildings that are not currently listed.

The meeting resolved to permit cycling on the promenade for a six-month trial period from May to October, with a marked cycle lane a future option that provoked much debate.

A Business Improvement District is being considered, which would see traders levied with slightly higher rates to be pooled for improvements to the area - attracting more customers to shops.

Gorleston Traders Association (GTA) will discuss the proposals on Tuesday, January 15.

Finally Mr Wainwright updated residents on the borough council’s financial settlement, with a 19pc cut made by central government.

Residents expressed their disappointment at the hand Great Yarmouth has been dealt.

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