Derelict land to be cleared in North Walsham town centre

Eric Seward is fighting to reverse the decision. Picture: Liberal Democrats.

North Norfolk District Council deputy leader Eric Seward. Picture: Liberal Democrats. - Credit: Liberal Democrats

A patch of derelict land in North Walsham will be cleared as part of a "once in a generation" effort to revitalise the town centre.

North Norfolk District Council plans to buy the walled-off land next to the Black Swan pub on Black Swan Loke to create a new access route to the Bank Loke Car Park. 

Eric Seward, deputy council leader, said the land was costing "less than £100,000" and would be paid for out of grant money from a £3m North Walsham Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) project.

North Norfolk District Council plans to buy a patch of walled-off derelict land

North Norfolk District Council plans to buy a patch of walled-off derelict land next to the Black Swan in North Walsham. - Credit: Google StreetView

Mr Seward said: "This will allow people to access the car park directly and also improve the visibility of the Black Swan pub. One of the big criticisms of North Walsham is the poor state of the lokes and the poor accessibility into the centre of the town. 

"We want to get more people into the town, not just to shop and go straight home, but linger and spend more time there."

But Mr Seward said the council had no plans to pedestrianize the Market Place. 

The council has also appointed London-based landscape architects Influence to undertake a 'townscaping' element of the HAZ project, working with a range of other firms including architecture firms HETA and Rees Bolter Architects,  BSP and Gleeds Cost Management.

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Richard Kershaw, the council's portfolio holder for sustainable growth, said: “We are very pleased to be working with Influence on this project and have been impressed with work they have done in other market towns.

"This will be an exciting, inclusive project to bring lasting improvements to the fabric of North Walsham and to bring visitors to the town for the benefit of local businesses.

"In addition to this, the cultural programme will soon get underway will bring together various societies and groups in and around the town to help celebrate the rich history of North Walsham.”

Shona Hatton, associate director at Influence, said: “High Street Heritage Action Zones are such a key part of the future for our towns - especially post the pandemic – and are often driven by a strong local community interest. Revitalising and regenerating our high streets whilst reinstating the heritage roots is critical to their success, now and in the future."

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