Highfield row continues as town council releases new research

Highfield Road Car Park in Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Highfield Road Car Park in Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

The proposal to sell a car park in Fakenham has sparked a row between the district council and the town council, with each side making their case for or against the sale.

The North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) invited residents to give feedback on the idea of selling Highfield Car Park to make way for housing for the over-55s and have supported the proposal with a booklet explaining the reasons behind it.

However, the town council says it 'disagrees with most of the arguments put forward' and have now released data from their own research in an effort to back their case.

At the centre of the research is the town council's investigation into car park usage. While NNDC claims it is under-used, research by the town council over the week beginning September 9 found that of the 110 spaces, an average of between 50 and 55 cars were parked between 10am and 2pm.

It also examines the displacement of parking that will be caused when vehicles can no longer use the site and found numerous issues.

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These include double yellow lines on nearby roads, others that are already heavily used for street parking and some that allow street parking but pose a hazard to emergency vehicles.

In an online and market place survey of 265 people the council found 25pc of respondents use Highfields every working day, while 19pc use it every day.

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When asked where they would park if Highfield was no longer an option, 58pc answered 'other' and 31pc said on the street. The town council noted that there was no option to say 'do not know' but 71pc said they would have taken this option if it was available.

Tom FitzPatrick, leader of NNDC, has emphasised that the purpose of the survey is to give people a chance to provide feedback and said that it will be 'carefully considered' in the next stage of decision making.

He added that the NNDC's focus is on how money raised from the sale could attract future investment into Fakenham and boost its economy.

The NNDC is urging people to take part in the survey and give their views before the deadline of Friday, September 29.

The town council said it is arranging a meeting with the NNDC before the next council meeting on October 10.

Further information and the survey can be found at the NNDC website.

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