Dispute rages over bid to move car park from eroding clifftop
- Credit: Archant
Scores of people in Happisburgh have signed a letter objecting to the parish council's plan to move a car park, which is perilously close to the cliff edge.
In August, North Norfolk District Council warned Happisburgh Parish Council the entrance to its Beach Road car park may become inaccessible before summer 2021 because of coastal erosion.
In September, the parish council began trying to find a way to roll back the car park, which subsidises the local council tax precept and provides a significant source of income for the village.
It invited the local community to be involved in the process through regular council meetings where councillors discussed options for relocating the car park.
But now, almost 100 people in the village had signed a letter to the council complaining about its handling of the issue, saying they "were switched off" during meetings.
They also opposed a council proposal to extend the car park behind Beach Road in the village, with an access track connecting Beach Road and Lighthouse Lane.
Kaye Hookway, who lives in Happisburgh and circulated the letter, said: "People in Beach Road are totally opposed to it.
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"People are trying to sell their houses in Beach Road because they can't think about 50 cars going [up the road]."
Ms Hookway said people in the village wanted a discussion over the future of the car park.
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"[We want] the council to actually listen to the views of the village and not discuss it among themselves and make the decision themselves."
A spokesperson for the council listed the September, October and November parish council meetings as occasions when there were public consultation sessions on the car park.
They said: "On November 24 the parish council held an extraordinary meeting to discuss potential options for the car park rollback. [From] the December meeting onwards the council has invited any public comments regarding the rollback.
"No parishioner has been ‘thrown out’ of a parish council meeting.
"During the April 2021 meeting, a parishioner was placed into the waiting room so that the chairman could be heard, following the parishioner’s loud verbal abuse and accusatory language. "