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Town councillors discuss response to major developments in resort

PUBLISHED: 19:15 09 July 2020 | UPDATED: 19:26 09 July 2020

West Norfolk council has applied to build 32 flats and maisonettes on part of the Southend Car Park off Seagate, in Hunstanton  Picture: Chris Bishop

West Norfolk council has applied to build 32 flats and maisonettes on part of the Southend Car Park off Seagate, in Hunstanton Picture: Chris Bishop

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Town councillors have been discussing two major housing developments planned for a seaside resort.

Hunstanton bus station, which could be relocated to make way for development  Picture: Chris BishopHunstanton bus station, which could be relocated to make way for development Picture: Chris Bishop

Hunstanton town councillors were called to what was billed as an extraordinary meeting via the online platform Zoom tonight.

Town mayor Tony Bishopp told them the main reason for the meeting was to discuss the council’s response to planning applications which had been submitted by West Norfolk council to develop the Southend Road car park and the town’s bus station and library sites.

MORE - New homes plan for seafront car park



Councillor Wendy Croucher said while the car park was owned by the borough council, it was vital it was put to the best use for the community.

Adrian Winnington said he was concerned about the scale of the development.

The tourist information centre in Hunstanton Town Hall was closed in March, when the coronavirus lockdown began  Picture: Chris BishopThe tourist information centre in Hunstanton Town Hall was closed in March, when the coronavirus lockdown began Picture: Chris Bishop

Andrew Jamieson said he was in favour “in balance” because the proposals would see an under-used area developed.

Andrew Murray said the council should object, adding: “It’s being sold to us a regeneration, but unfortunately it’s not.”

Robert Corby said the proposed Southend Road development did not address sewage issues or the provision of recharging points for electric cars.

“There’s lots of things in the development that doesn’t follow local and national planning guidelines and that’s a concern,” he added.

Hunstanton's new 'unmanned' tourist information centre will be in the Coal Shed, on Le Strange Terrace  Picture: Chris BishopHunstanton's new 'unmanned' tourist information centre will be in the Coal Shed, on Le Strange Terrace Picture: Chris Bishop

Cllr Croucher said she feared the development would end up bringing more holiday homes, which would not bring value to the town.

MORE - Plans to develop Hunstanton bus station site

She added there was not enough parking proposed in the bus station scheme.

Mr Jamieson said he wanted to see a “better offer” for the site.

Mr Corby said it was “short-sighted” not provide provision for electric cars.

He added there were issues with drainage which could have consequences for other parts of the town in the event of a flash flood.

Councillor Mike Ruston said he was in favour because Hunstanton needed more homes for young people.

“I want young people to have the opportunity to have what I had in my 20s,” he said. “I want them to have those opportunities.”

Mr Murray said the new library - proposed as part of the bus station scheme - would be “a great asset” for the town.

He added he did not understand why it could not be relocated to the former infants’ school or council offices.

Mr Jamieson said he understood neither site had been considered viable.

Mr Winnington said a discussion needed to be had with Anglian Water regarding drainage.

He said there pros and cons but he would support the development.

Mr Bishopp said he would support the scheme, adding: “There is no such thing as a perfect development and the town was “lucky” to be getting a new library and the scheme would improve an “untidy corner”.

Councillors were asked to e-mail their final thoughts on the scheme to enable the town council to formulate its response.

The issue of the closure of the resort’s tourist information centre was raised by a member of the public as the meeting got under way. She asked why there was no public consultation.

MORE - Tourist information centre to be replaced with ‘unstaffed’ facility

Mr Bishopp said the closure was mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic, but there were other reasons he could not disclose due to legal reasons.

Mr Bishopp welcomed members of the town’s civic society to the meeting.

He said: “There is obviously an issue that exists between us, I want to know what it is.”

He added it was “vitally important” that the council and the society met urgently to discuss them, following “unhelpful” comments from ex-councillors.

MORE - Calls for rethink over plans to close tourist information centre

Councillors also heard the landmark Golden Lion Hotel, which ceased trading during lockdown, was expected to reopen as part of a bespoke hotels group.


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