Cromer mayor: I would have eaten Chains of Office to stop car park
- Credit: Archant
Opponent of North Lodge Park development revealed lengths he was prepared to go to in effort stop building on the greenfield site.
Cromer mayor Tim Adams revealed he would have eaten his Chains of Office if it meant it would have stopped plans to build a car park at one of the town's best known beauty spots.
North Norfolk District Council's development committee yesterday (Thursday) voted 8-2 against the authority's plans to create 47 new parking spaces at North Lodge Park - because they breached its own policy to protect open spaces.
However, it means plans for new public loos in the park, supporting those with physical and learning difficulties, will also not now be driven forward.
Mr Adams, who was invited to address councillors ahead of the debate, said: 'When I spoke on the proposal for a car park, I considered saying in closing: 'I will eat the Chains of Office if you do not approve this application'. So it's good news for my digestive system, it needs not recoil in terror.
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'The town council, alongside the Friends of North Lodge Park and the community went to great lengths to rightly oppose the proposal. We're all extremely pleased and obviously surprised!
'However, I worry there will now be a gap where we cease to see any positive proposals for the future of North Lodge Park by it's owner, NNDC (North Norfolk District Council).'
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The town council hope a community trust could be set up to take over the running of the park and extra money could be raised to develop the site into a new play area.
Mr Adams added: 'The town council will now continue in it's early stages of work alongside the Friends of North Lodge Park, and the rest of the community for the future of North Lodge Park. There is scope for the community to work alongside the district council to find new ways of managing these assets that may prove to be less of a burden to NNDC.'
The council had argued it needed to find more ways of making money to avoid a £1.5m budget deficit over the next three years and, it claimed, the new car park would drive more visitors to the area - and boost businesses in the east end of town.
Reacting to the vote, Cromer Chamber of Trade and Business president Gary Dickenson said: 'We are obviously disappointed with the outcome and will continue to both campaign for the car park that the town desperately needs and continue to work with the council and other stakeholders to make the car park become a reality.'