Public meeting to be held to discuss whether Stalham Town Council should buy the old station yard site

Stalham residents will have a chance next month to say whether they want their town council to buy the eyesore old station yard site from Norfolk County Council for �250,000.

The county is keen to sell the site, which has remained undeveloped at the northern approach to Stalham for at least 15 years, and has given the town first refusal.

Town councillors agreed last night that they would call a public meeting to discuss the issue, after commissioning an independent valuation of the plot.

Tick-box questionnaires will also be delivered to Stalham households asking whether residents would be in favour of the purchase, and if they would also back the move if it meant a rise in their town council precept of possibly �25, �50, �75 or �100 per year.

The public will also be asked if they would support the idea of a new town hall/community centre on the site among other possibilities, which could include housing.

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County councillor Nigel Dixon suggested that, as well as a valuation of the land in its current state, the town council should ask for another, supposing it had been developed as they wished, to demonstrate its future ''added value''.

Town leaders fear if they are unable to buy the site, the county will sell it to the highest bidder and it could be developed with high-density housing.

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