Frustration of Cromer residents who are eager to start work at North Lodge Park

Frustrations of residents who want to make a start on the regeneration of North Lodge park but are w

Frustrations of residents who want to make a start on the regeneration of North Lodge park but are waiting for the go ahead from the council pictured are Tony Knight, Chair of the Friends of North Lodge Park and Emma Dale, Vice Chair of the Friends of North Lodge Park. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Frustrated residents are eager to start work at Cromer's North Lodge Park while they wait for the town council to gain ownership.

Local people are hoping a long-running battle to transform the clifftop park will come to an end with the next few months.

But the town council has said it does not yet have a date for when the park can officially be in town hands - because legal details are being finalised to complete the deal.

The park is in the process of being transferred from North Norfolk District Council to Cromer Town Council.

A £150,000 dowry is expected to come from NNDC and £19,000, of council tax money, has been budgeted to maintain the park for the year.

Chairman of the North Lodge Park committee, councillor Phil Harris, said: 'We want to make sure when we get the park it's going to be the best thing for Cromer.

'We are taking the park over and it's for future generations so we want to make sure anything that's in the lease is not going to come back and haunt anybody in the next 30, 40 or 50 years' time.'

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This may come as disheartening news to those who want to get started on making changes ahead of the summer months.

Tony Knight, chairman of the Friends of North Lodge Park committee, said they were not pointing the finger at anyone but they were eager to start work.

He said: 'At this point it's frustration. At the moment we want to be positive and work with whoever has the park.'

Mr Knight added the group had asked the district council if it could begin work, but had been told the park transfer would be complete by the end of June.

He said the Friends were 'really delighted' with the outcome of a recent open meeting about the future of the land.

About 60 people attended the meeting and formed working groups to brainstorm ideas for the park.

He added: 'There is a real energy there that we really want to make the most of.

'We so want to get the café open. It's just about getting the transfer completed.

'It's a community asset and we want to make it a fantastic tourist attraction.'

A number of recommendations have arisen from the findings of a survey, launched by Mr Knight, completed by 747 people on the future of the land.

The recommendations include opening the café as soon as possible, maximising the potential of the concrete area, tidying and replanting, reintroducing putting and starting activities.

What do you think should be included in the future of North Lodge Park? Email or write to Letters, North Norfolk News, 31 Church Street, Cromer, NR27 9ES.

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