RICHARD BIRD

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Hunny new caravan park 'carve-up'

22nd February 2008 - the following article is reproduced by kind permission of Lynn News

SEAfront traders and residents are demanding council bosses explain the reasons behind plans for a new caravan park in Hunstanton, amid fears it could have a detrimental impact on the resort.

West Norfolk Council is hoping to develop the Seagate caravan park in a move which could see part of the site moved from alongside South Beach Road to the existing car park area off Seagate Road.

On Wednesday traders, businessmen and residents met to discuss the plans and strong concerns were raised about the possible loss of vital parking spaces and important access routes to the sea front.

The authority was also criticised for its lack of consultation on the proposal while some residents believe a new caravan park would contradict early regeneration plans for the town.

Fairground proprietor and former town mayor Fred Pooley said: "We just do not understand why. We do not want to lose spaces or be cut off from the car park.

"They should take it back and use it as a car park. It is on the main drive in and people go through there and park up.

"We have made it quite clear we are against it in any shape or form, we want to know why they are doing it and who will benefit from it?"

Around 30 people attended the meeting and a formal letter of objection is now expected to follow.

Hunstanton Town Council has yet to make an official response to the plans.

Town Mayor Cllr Richard Bird said: "Whoever leases this will have to spend thousands of pounds on roadways, new water mains, sewer mains and electricity in an area which has been designated for regeneration in the coming years.

"I have got the outline plans for regeneration and what has been put forward has a completely different purpose, it is allocated as a training and development area.

"It seems ridiculous they will spend this kind of money only to have it ripped out in the next five years."

West Norfolk Council has defended the application, insisting the area available for parking will remain essentially the same and that access to the seafront will not be affected.

A scheme is now being drawn up to make better use of the parking area and accommodate more vehicles.

Council leader Nick Daubney said: "We have been working on this matter for some time and believe that the caravan park is an important part of the resort's overall offer.

"If we can make these changes it will encourage investment in the park and add to the overall regeneration of the town. As part of the planning process we welcome comments on the proposals."

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