Shock bid to build 48-space car park on North Lodge Park in Cromer
- Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC
A controversial issue is today being revived in Cromer after a shock bid to build a 48-space car park on part of a treasured piece of open space.
North Norfolk District Council is likely to split opinion after putting in the application for the old tennis courts at North Lodge Park.
It revives a long-running issue that has split the town for years - with some keen on car parking to help retailers at the east end of the town, but others vehemently against losing open space that was until recently a children's play area.
If passed, the pay-and-display car park would have six blue badge spaces and a new toilet block.
Currently, most public car parking in Cromer is to the west of the town centre.
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'The east end of Cromer has been crying out for more car parking for many years and we want to tackle this need by good use of a brownfield site and at an appropriate scale,' said North Norfolk District Council's cabinet member for assets John Rest.
'This will be a positive move for businesses at this end of town, visitors, the wider tourism offer in Cromer, people wanting level access to the Rocket House lift and for footfall in North Lodge Park itself.
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'We know more and more people are coming to Cromer and we have to provide the facilities they need. This will help the town to grow and expand, taking advantage of the increasing number of tourists as well as helping residents.'
If it receives planning approval, the new pay and display car park would be built on a part of North Lodge Park adjacent to Overstrand Road. The area in question is 'brownfield' and has previously been used for tennis and a children's play area. For several years it has been redundant as a public space and is now used by the Council's parks unit for storage of vehicles.
The project includes plans to build a new, independent entrance and exit on to Overstrand Road to the east of the existing access.
There will be a height restriction barrier in place to prevent use by camper vans and commercial vehicles.
The former bandstand/park attendant's building would be turned into a public toilet block to replace the facilities to the rear of the tea rooms.
Pedestrian access from the car park would be provided into North Lodge Park in the north-west corner of the car park, coming out into the park opposite the tea-room.
The council said the boating lake, café, children's playgroup and the use of North Lodge would be unaffected.