Push for Holt’s car park rocked by “torpedo” announcement

Tentative steps to finally push through plans for a new car park in Holt were rocked by a bombshell statement suggesting an alternative site for the much needed facility.

The long running project to build a 385-space car park off Thornage Road was set to move forward after an impasse between developer Graham Chapman and Norfolk County Council (NCC) looked to be resolved.

But the hope to finally settle the stalemate was dealt an 'unhelpful' blow after a joint statement from NCC and the district council put another site for the car park in the frame.

Russell Wright, NCC member for Melton Constable, told Holt Town Council yesterday that an agreement over access to a piece of land - which had been at the centre of the stalemate - was close to being reached, but the 'torpedo' announcement had rattled Mr Chapman.

Mr Wright said: 'Shortly after our last meeting I had a call from the applicant, in essence he was agreeing to the county council's terms. Then unbeknownst to me there was a press release out of county hall about another car park.

'Things were looking reasonably optimistic but I can't say that's the case at this precise moment in time.'

Town council members were disappointed by the latest hold up but thought NCC's offer to Mr Chapman - which they have now been made privy to - was 'acceptable'.

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Mr Wright said he had been working hard since the statement was released to get the parties back round the negotiating table, and had suggested stepping in as a 'broker' to help move talks along.

'I have spoken to the county council leader and we have decided to get the parties round the table and talk face to face,' he added. 'I don't want any personal credit for any of this all I want is a car park for Holt.'

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