Who is responsible for fixing this hole in Cromer's West Cliff?
PUBLISHED: 15:51 24 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:51 24 August 2018
A hole in a clifftop path in Cromer has thrown up historic questions about which local authority is responsible for its repair.
Cromer town councillor Tim Adams said the void underneath the pavement on West Cliff means the road surface is threatening to collapse into a nearby drain.
He added that this area of seafront walkway is the responsibilty of North Norfolk District Council (NNDC).
And Mr Adams, the town’s former youngest-ever mayor, said NNDC hasn’t acknowledged the research he carried out into the town’s history to establish who owns this stretch of highway, which he gave the council hard copies of “months ago”.
But an NNDC spokesman said Mr Adams’ documents were so comprehensive the council were still going through them.
The town council was first made aware of the void’s existence on the seafront between No 1 Cromer and Craft Burger when a member of the public informed the then mayor, John Frosdick.
Mr Adams, who also serves as a Norfolk county councillor, said: “John asked me to get it sorted as since I’ve been elected I’ve dealt with over 1,000 highways issues.
“It emerged that the West Cliff didn’t have an owner. It was named by the local board - a local authority from the 1800s.
“I went to the county council who said they had no records of owning or maintaining it.
“The pavements in town are maintained by Norfolk County Council. The district and town councils had no knowledge of West Cliff’s ownership either.
“It presented a big problem because there’s a void under the pavement by a drainage gully and that will collapse.
“It will grow to the point that the pavement has to be closed off.
“I think harsh winter weather will make the situation worse.”
An NNDC spokesman said: “Mr Adams sent us a comprehensive set of documents, which we are still working through.
“What we do know is that the land is not currently registered to us at the Land Registry.
“The bundle of documents detail a complex history in relation to ownership of the land, which is why we are still going through this thorough process.
“Once we have reviewed all the documents, we will be in a position to respond directly to Mr Adams. Should it turn out to be the case that this is NNDC land, we will fulfil our responsibilities accordingly.”