Sheringham regeneration labelled a 'shambles'

Regeneration in Sheringham has been labelled a “shambles” - but those running the million-pound project have insisted a great deal is being achieved, while admitting communication should have been better.

Regeneration work in Sheringham has been labelled a "shambles" - but those running the million pound project insist a great deal is being achieved.

The team - which admits that communication should have been better - says it has a responsibility to spend public money wisely and needs time to carry out research and groundwork.

Regeneration in the town is run by a group called Sheringham Plus and North Norfolk District Council is a partner in the project.

John Ashton, who was closely involved with the early stages of the town's regeneration when he stood as chairman of the seafront focus group, has accused the council of "interfering and creating insurmountable problems".

He said: "It's a shambles. I support Sheringham Plus and know that they are trying very hard to get things done. I am just trying to get things moving.

"The residents of Sheringham deserve better. My message to the district council is 'Get on with it'."

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Mike Crowe of Sheringham Plus said regeneration projects had "progressed at speeds which have varied according to the amount of research and groundwork necessary".

Projects moving forward include work on Oddfellows Hall, which will begin this month and is due to finish in July; installing new town centre street lights, which will start next month; and improvements to Ottendorf Green, which will also begin inFebruary.

Mr Crowe said there had been "a large amount of ineffective communication" around the seafront lighting project, which he said had caused understandable frustration.

He added:"It is expected that future work involving Sheringham Plus in association with the council will be more speedily organised."

Sheila Oxtoby, North Norfolk council's strategic director for resources, said: "We have a duty to the council taxpayers of north Norfolk to achieve best value in the use of these monies.

"We are very keen to move this all forward and deliver the projects."

The council's public services manager David Feltham and CCTV manager Teri Munro said there were specific reasons for the time spent on the detail of the seafront lighting project.

These included difficulties over how electricity cables would be laid and a legal responsibility to consider the potential impact of any scheme on crime levels, particularly in relation to the ability of CCTV cameras to operate under certain types of lighting.

Mr Feltham added: "There are a lot of good projects on the go.

"It is unfair to say that regeneration in Sheringham is a shambles."

For more information on the project, visit www.sheringhamplus.co.uk