Bus station to make way for flats, library and shop space
- Credit: Chris Bishop
The transformation of a town's bus station into flats, shops and a library has been given the go-ahead.
King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council had put forward a proposal to repurpose the existing bus station and demolish the library on St Edmund's Terrace in Hunstanton.
Their scheme included 47 flats in two blocks, a new, larger library and space for retail or service units.
Submitted planning documents outlined that nine of the properties had been designated as affordable, six of which would be rented and three under shared ownership.
Bus stops would be moved to The Spinney and alongside the nearby Princess Theatre, while nine public car parking spaces would be lost from the adjacent Central Car Park to accommodate the development.
Despite hearing environmental concerns from Hunstanton and District Civic Society, the council's planning committee chose on Monday to approve the scheme.
Carol Bower, borough councillor for Hunstanton, was vocal in her support of the scheme, saying: "The library needs to be replaced. I’m really for this and feel it would of great benefit, and would outweigh the loss of parking spaces in this case."
Fellow councillor, Vivienne Spikings, added: "This is going to be a vast improvement to the area that’s there now."
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As part of the project, a total of 51 new parking spaces will be provided at the site.
Each flat will be assigned a space each, with two for visitors to the library and another two for the retail or services unit - a tenant for which will be identified in due course.
Margi Blunden, speaking on behalf of the civic society, had argued that giving the proposal the green light could be a public health hazard.
She said: "The current global issue of climate change underlines the need for reducing pollution. Despite the air quality in St Edmund's Terrace having been measured as adequate, our duty is to improve air quality – not lessen it.
"Buses, coaches and delivery lorries queueing will contribute to the worsening of air quality. This could be considered dangerous to public health and therefore absolutely contrary to the aims and efforts of cutting back on global warming."