Fewer objections over 'pedestrian-friendly' town centre plans, council says

North Walsham High Street Heritage Action Zone. Looking towards the market place past the Market Cro

Looking towards the market place past the Market Cross. Image: North Norfolk District Council - Credit: Archant

Businesses in North Walsham are being won over by proposals to make the town centre friendlier to pedestrians, a council cabinet member has said. 

At a Monday meeting of North Norfolk District Council’s Liberal Democrat cabinet, members voted through some proposals for the town centre's ongoing 'place making' project.

Improved pedestrian crossing points, cycle lanes and the removal of through traffic from the Market Place are all currently proposed. 

North Walsham Market Place.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

North Walsham Market Place.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

At the meeting, the cabinet agreed to the potential use of a section of the town’s New Road car park as a bus interchange and to meet the revenue costs of its future maintenance - with the parking nearest the library and community centre left as it is. 

Councillors also agreed in principle to permanently designate eight spaces at the Bank Loke car park and eight spaces at Vicarage Street car park as free one-hour-stay spaces, to compensate for the loss of 16 30-minute-stay free parking spaces from the Market Place.

Referring to the latter proposal, portfolio holder for sustainable growth Richard Kershaw said: “This is not a pedestrianisation project, this is to make it more pedestrian-friendly, and I’d just like to reassure people that the disabled parking will be kept in the Market Place.”

Richard Kershaw North Norfolk District Councillor. Picture: Richard Kershaw

Richard Kershaw North Norfolk District Councillor. Picture: Richard Kershaw - Credit: Archant

Mr Kershaw said the council had been consulting on the proposals for some 18 months, and a consensus was being reached.

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“As ever with something so complicated," he said, "there have been objections, but it has been pleasing to see that the objections have diminished over the consultation period and most, if not all, now of the businesses are coming on side as they realise what the proposals are intending to do.”

He said comments had been received about a ban on business deliveries during the working day.  

North Walsham Market Place.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

North Walsham Market Place.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

“It could be read from this [set of proposals] that there will be a blanket ban from 10am to 4pm,” said Mr Kershaw.

“The idea is to stop heavy goods vehicles and large traffic going through at all times.

“We will take into account the comments we’ve had from business in terms of delivery times and schedules.”

He added there was also a need for improved public toilets in North Walsham, as the toilets in Vicarage Street were “past their sell by date” and “falling apart”, while the ones in New Road were impossible to modify. 

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