Anger over ‘perverse’ North Walsham planning decision

An application for a hole-in-the-wall cash machine in a north Norfolk market town has sparked anger and claims that planners are deaf to local opinion.

North Norfolk District Council has given conditional consent to Bankmachine Ltd which wants to install an automatic teller machine on a wall of the grade two-listed building occupied by Martin's newsagent, on Church Street, North Walsham.

But North Walsham Town Council had strong objections to the application because members felt the pavements were too narrow at a busy junction and people using a machine there could put pedestrians and mobility-vehicle users in danger.

They also feared the adjacent disabled parking and loading bays would be abused by motorists stopping to use the machine.

Deputy Mayor Dave Robertson, who is chairman of the council's planning committee, attended a site meeting with district planners and took along his tape measure to show them that the pavement width was just under 2m.


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'The site is also in the Conservation Area and we've already got six other cash points in the town,' said Mr Robertson.

He denounced the planners' decision as 'perverse' and said the town council's objections had proved to be a 'complete and utter waste of time.'

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He added: 'We are trying to do our best for the people of the town and people who know nothing about North Walsham are making adverse decisions. I feel like telling the district council: 'If you don't want my stupid opinion, don't ask for it'' .

The town's planning committee is due to discuss its concerns at a meeting in the New Road council offices on July 12 at 6.30pm.

* In a Heritage Statement supporting its application, Bankmachine said that Church Street, in 'Walshingham' (sic) was situated in the heart of the 'city' and was home to a 'wealth of restaurants.' The road includes a cafe inside a baker's, and a pub.

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