Hunstanton heritage gardens move step closer - along with controversial plans to move flood memorial

The flooding memorial in Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt

The flooding memorial in Hunstanton. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A £1.3m project to celebrate the vision of the founder of Hunstanton, Henry Le Strange, has taken a step closer with the appointment of a contractor to carry out the work.

Officials also look set to ignore residents objecting to plans to move a memorial to victims of the floods, which devastated parts of the town and claimed 31 lives in 1953.

Blakedown Environment and Leisure has been appointed to work alongside landscape architects Wynne-Williams Associates to carry out the work on the cliff top esplanade.

A meet the contractors event is being held at the Golden Lion, on the Green on Thursday, February 2 (5 - 8pm), where people can view the plans and take part in a question and answer session.

West Norfolk council, which is behind the Hunstanton Heritage Gardens project, says it will preserve and enhance historic features and include the planting of a new rose garden, new footpaths, a play area and crazy golf course.

Elizabeth Nockolds, West Norfolk council's cabinet member for culture, said: 'This is an excellent opportunity for people to come and see the exhibition boards and look at the plans in more detail. The overall aim of the scheme is to enhance the area and improve access and interpretation.

'We hope that by seeing all the plans in context people will understand what the project is trying to achieve.

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'I know there have been some concerns about the flood memorial being moved. We consulted on this at the start and no concerns were raised. Many people feel that giving it its own special setting will be beneficial, so that is the plan. 'We will however undertake careful investigations before anything is done to ensure the memorial itself is not damaged in anyway. It is such an important memorial it deserves its own special location, surrounded by other interpretation that reflects the town's connection with the sea.'

Hunstanton historian Dick Melton and Neil Quincey, who helped build the memorial, fear it will be damaged when it is moved to its new site 30m away from its current location, where it has stood for more than 60 years.