Holt car park petition branded ‘not surprising’ by Norfolk County Council leader Derrick Murphy
A Conservative councillor has branded the 500-name petition to end the deadlock over a planned new car park at Holt as 'not surprising'.
Norfolk County Council (NCC) leader Derrick Murphy, received the petition at County Hall on Monday (March 5), calling for more car parking spaces to be made available in the Georgian town.
'I, like everyone else, is very sympathetic to the people who use Holt and needs to park - that's the demonstrable truth,' he said.
'I don't think the community in Holt should be left hanging on too long for a conclusion and I know how frustrating it is in a market town to be without a car park.'
A popular shopping mecca, the town has been crying out for more spaces for years, but after council bids to find more parking hit a brick wall, private developer Graham Chapman gained permission for a 385-space site off Thornage Road back in 2009.
Now the plans have reached a stalemate and negotiations with NCC over access are on-going. Mr Murphy hoped these would be 'fruitful' and added that there was a 'plan b' in place.
He said: 'The county council are owners of a site in Holt which we can use as a car park in the town if all else fails.
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'It is a suitable location and I hope this big issue will be resolved as soon as possible.'
MP Norman Lamb and district councillor Philip High collected the 500-name petition, which was later handed in by deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats Mervyn Scutter.
The petition called on NCC to 'do everything on its power to expedite the development of the Thornage Road Car Park, to solve Holt's chronic parking problems and support local businesses'.
Mr Murphy said the petition had not been surprising and sympathised with the people who signed it.
A spokesman for NCC added: 'The county council is also anxious to help resolve the car parking shortage in Holt, which is why the council has been reasonable and flexible in the terms it has offered to Mr Chapman, and why, in case the Thornage Road car park is not taken forward, the county and district councils have put forward an alternative proposal.'