Date set for reopening of Cromer bus station

A five-year saga of planning appeals and public pressure is set to end next month when Cromer bus station reopens.

On August 1, the first buses since 2006 will stop at the Prince of Wales Road station, whose closure sparked a storm.

All Sanders services to Norwich and North Walsham will leave from the station, along with the Norfolk Green Coasthopper service. But the westbound buses to Sheringham and Holt will continue to go from the bus stop on Cadogan Road.

Developer Ortona, which owns the site, had hoped to build 12 flats and a shop on the site, which closed when First Eastern Counties Buses gave up the lease.

The move had always been vigorously opposed by local residents and campaigners hoping to preserve the station for future use as a transport hub and North Norfolk District Council first refused planning permission in 2005.

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The council was opposed to the plan because it would effectively end any possibility of the bus station being reopened.

Since then there have been several court actions and planning appeals - with the last one in 2010 finding in favour of the council.

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Planning inspector Mel Middleton found that the loss of the facility was having an 'adverse effect' on the use of sustainable modes of transport in and around Cromer.

After the decision, Cromer Environment Action Group said it was a 'victory for the needs of people in Cromer'.

Since then, Ortona has negotiated with Norfolk County Council's planning and transportation department to strike a deal on a lease to enable the bus station to be refurbished and reopened.

Canon Derek Elton, from Cromer, has been campaigning for the return of the bus station since it closed in 2005.

He said: 'We were looking at it only this morning and thinking that there's not much left to do. We are very pleased about it and glad that we appealed against the planning decisions twice.

'We have finally got through everything. It is so encouraging, and it shows that if you persist you can get the right things done in the end.'

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