UPDATE: Two new sites emerge as search hots up for Cromer skatepark base

The campaign to set up a skatepark in Cromer has taken a new twist, with the news that two new sites are being investigated.

At Monday's Cromer Town Council, members and a gathered crowd of young boarders, BMX riders and scooters riders heard that a corner of The Meadow was being looked at.

They were also told that officers from North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) had been instructed to see whether the east end of North Lodge Park, beyond the wooden footbridge, could be used for the facility.

The twin revelation came on the same day that the district council agreed to a period of public consultation on its plan for a �197,000 revamp of North Lodge Park.

The plan includes a new toilet block, a jubilee garden in place of the bowling green, 'public recreation space' to replace the putting greens and a children's play area and all-age gym at the empty former Kiddies' Corner - which is currently being used as a makeshift skatepark.

On Monday evening, town, district and Norfolk county councillor Hilary Thompson said: 'The's the option of using part of the land at The Meadow, which is owned by the county council. The district council rents it from the county and things are progressing there.

'The county council feels strongly that the youth are not provided for in Cromer. The skatepark hopefully won't be far away.'

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John Lee, Suffield Park ward member and deputy leader of NNDC, said: The other area that I was personally considering for a skatepark is over the bridge at North Lodge Park, and I've asked officers to look into the planning requirements for that.'

The town council agreed unanimously to support a motion from Scott Eastwood, to back the skatepark campaign, work with stakeholders to find a site, pressure NNDC and the county council to look at the investment made in youth facilities in Cromer and to fully back any plans submitted for a permanent skatepark.

Members also gave their support to NNDC's decision to invest money in redesigning North Lodge Park.

During public participation, the council heard from some of the young people, including Phoebe Gee, who said she was 'not a skateboarder', but added that the temporary skatepark had given young people something to do and stopped them from becoming bored and getting into trouble.

She added: 'I think it's great to see that they've banded together and I think they deserve to get what they want.'

Earlier NNDC's cabinet agreed to sanction spending �197,000 to revamp North Lodge Park.

But the plan will now go out to public consultation, after residents and campaigners said they had not been asked for their views.

Former town councillor John Morgan, who worked as an operator at North Lodge Park last year, said the park was Cromer's third most popular tourist attraction after the beach and pier, and urged members to think 'very carefully' before making any decisions over its future.

Skatepark campaigner Andrew Harrison-Robertshaw described the plan as a 'white elephant' and urged the council to listen to residents who, after a straw poll, had voted in favour of an area for skaters rather than an outdoor gym.

Mr Lee said the plans aimed to leave a lasting legacy for Cromer in a 'momentous' year - which included the jubilee and Olympics - and provided an opportunity to 'revitalise' North Lodge Park.

He said: 'I do feel I can give a firm assurance to the young people of Cromer that they will get a skatepark. I believe our plans for North Lodge Park give us a chance not just to revitalise what has become a tired looking asset, but also an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy.'

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