Fakenham and Wells councillors speak out on North Norfolk District Council’s plans to sell towns’ assets

Highfield Road car park. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Highfield Road car park. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Dozens of people from Fakenham and Wells are expected to attend a crunch meeting amid concerns over proposals to sell off assets.

Allen Frary. Picture: Ian Burt

Allen Frary. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

North Norfolk District Council plans to cash in on some of its assets in a bid to balance the books and prevent a potential 25pc increase in council tax.

Plans include proposals to transform the site of the public toilets at Beach Road in Wells with a new retail and restaurant development and holiday apartments, and to build eight new homes at the Highfield Road car park in Fakenham.

The district council's budget proposals will be considered by cabinet when it meets on Monday, February 6.

Wells Town Council chairman Allen Frary said councillors and residents would be attending.

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He said: 'I think it's a short-term solution selling off assets. And do we need another shop outlet, restaurant, and holiday lets in Wells?

'There's quite a lot of concern within Wells about what happens. Our council meeting is the same date as the cabinet meeting. It may be that after that we hold a public meeting so people can air their views.'

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Fakenham Town Council held an extraordinary meeting on Wednesday night to discuss the plans for the car park, which have prompted many concerns from residents.

Deputy Fakenham mayor George Acheson, who will speak at Monday's meeting, said: 'At the extraordinary meeting all electors present were strongly against the proposal and will vigorously oppose it.

'The council is selling the family silver; once an asset has gone it's gone and then how will NNDC pay for its discretionary services?'

Fellow town councillor Chris Rockett said: 'We are keen to save the car park.

'I think we would be better off retaining the land rather than selling it off. If it's sold, what happens next year? We need to safeguard what we've got.

'I say to the district council, don't penalise the town and businesses to get themselves out of a hole this year.'

NNDC leader Tom FitzPatrick said they were looking to reprovide the toilets and upgrade them. He added that one of the arguments for saving the car park was the college across the road, but that was moving onto a single site later this year.

What other concerns do you have about the proposals? Email david.bale2@archant.co.uk

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