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Railway row erupts over Hunstanton restaurant plans

10:17 25 September 2012

Hunstanton cliffs and beach. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Hunstanton cliffs and beach. Picture: Matthew Usher.

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Up to 50 full- and part-time jobs could be created under plans for a new chain pub and restaurant in Hunstanton.

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Marston’s Brewery Project is seeking full planning permission to build a 150-seat “food-led” pub on land owned by West Norfolk Council, opposite Tesco in Southend Road.

The site, currently used as an unmarked overspill car park, lies on a disused railway trackbed and is protected from development by local planning policies.

But council planning officers recommend the application be approved at a meeting next week, suggesting the benefits outweigh the loss of the railway route.

Hunstanton Civic Society has formally objected, warning the development will end any possibility of the resort’s railway station reopening and the historic line to King’s Lynn being reinstated.

It suggests the decision should be called in for consideration by central government because of the borough council’s financial interest.

The officers’ report concludes: “The development proposal results in significant benefits in respect of providing 50 local employment opportunities, 15 of which are full-time positions, and the physical regeneration of an under-used and unattractive car park.

“Here the building’s siting close to the road, varied form and local materials will provide an attractive development which significantly enhances the street scene along a key gateway into the town.

“These positive effects need to be weighed against the adverse impact, the building on the railway trackbed.

“On balance, the economic and physical regeneration benefits of the development are considered to outweigh this potential loss.”

A 61-space car park, living quarters for the manager and a new pedestrian crossing are also included in the plans.

The council’s planning committee is due to discuss the application on Monday.

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