Anger over

A controversial plan to extend a hotel car park at a idyllic coastal village is being opposed by countryside campaigners.

The Blakeney Hotel wants to create an overflow parking for guests and visitors on a nearby green space known as The Pastures.

However, the application is being opposed by Blakeney Parish Council and a number of local residents.

More than 50 extra spaces would be created on the site which is close to the quayside hotel if the scheme is approved.

The site lies within both the North Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Glaven Valley Glaven Valley Conservation Area.

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Parish council chairman Tony Faulkner described the proposal as 'destructive' and 'seriously damaging.'

Mr Faulkner said: 'There have never been cars parked there previously until they started creeping on two or three years ago. This would seriously damage the appearance of open land and be destructive to the appearance of the conservation area.

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'We fear that if permission is granted for the car park the hotel owners will be asking for lighting next or for it to be surfaced.'

He added: 'There is no need for it. The hotel has enough parking spaces and staff use big public car park near the village hall - has 100 spaces and is very rarely full.'

The hotel owns the section of The Pastures where the car park would be located and which is accessible by driveway from The Quay.

A barrier system would be put in place and bank extended along the edge of the site to restrict access to guests and visitors.

A planning statement on behalf of the hotel describes existing visitor parking on The Quay as 'not sufficient' and claims there is an 'acute lack' of spaces elsewhere in the village.

The car park is expected to 'rarely used' in the winter with the number of vehicles decreasing during the summer as a result of the new control measures.

The statement adds that the design respects the landscape and enhances it in 'a sympathetic and considered way.'

The application is due to be considered by members of North Norfolk District Council Development Committee.

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