Town to hold car park poll

A town poll on a controversial parking issue was triggered tonight, at the second time of asking.Campaigners are calling for a Cromer referendum on whether car parking should be included in plans to revamp the resort's clifftop North Lodge Park.

A town poll on a controversial parking issue was triggered tonight, at the second time of asking.

Campaigners are calling for a Cromer referendum on whether car parking should be included in plans to revamp the resort's clifftop North Lodge Park.

Backed by a 2,000-name petition, they have opposed the idea, saying the cars would spoil the historic pleasure area.

They decided to enact little-used powers where electors can call for a parish poll on an issue, if six people demand it, and more than 10 back it at a public meeting called by the town council.

The first attempt last month was ruled out of order on a procedural point by North Norfolk District Council, because of insufficient involvement by the town council in the meeting, which was held at a campaigner's house.

But a second meeting, staged at the town council chamber last night, agreed to call for the poll - which the district council will now have to call within 14-25 days of the motion being received.

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Cromer residents will then have the chance to vote on the question: “Should the development of North Lodge Park by North Norfolk District Council include the conversion of any part of the park into a car park?"

The district council is keen to improve the park, including the addition of a car park to cater for up to 55 cars which would also include spaces for town hall tenants and the disabled using a nearby cliff lift.

A public display of a range of options is due to be staged in the town's WI Hall on April 3 and 4 with officials on hand to explain the project to people from noon to 9pm

The poll is expected to be held close to that date. Though the result is not binding campaigners say it would be a brave council that ignored its outcome.

The district council says it is only the second time in more than 30 years that such a poll had been held in the area, the last being in Fakenham in 2003 over a controversial town centre redevelopment.