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Councils in dispute over the future of Fakenham car park

PUBLISHED: 16:12 01 September 2017 | UPDATED: 16:17 01 September 2017

The North Norfolk District Council has proposed replacing the Highfields car park with new housing for the over-55s. Picture: NNDC

The North Norfolk District Council has proposed replacing the Highfields car park with new housing for the over-55s. Picture: NNDC

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A meeting is to be held in Fakenham to address what the town Mayor sees as a number of inaccuracies in a district council document regarding the sale of a town car park.

The focus of the meeting agenda will be a consultation document released online by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) when they began asking the public for feedback on August 22.

Fakenham’s Mayor, George Acheson, says that he disagrees “with most of the arguments put forward” and will formally address these points during the meeting.

He said the public is welcome to attend and listen to the discussion but said a public meeting where residents can contribute has already taken place.

In the NNDC consultation booklet it justifies the sale saying that Highfields is underused, that there is sufficient parking and that there is a demand for housing for over-55s.

But a draft meeting document written by Mr Acheson and seen by this newspaper shows that he intends to break down the booklet and refute the majority of these claims.

He argues that it is not true to say there is sufficient parking and many alternate spaces are for permit holders or reserved for businesses. He also highlights that there are plans for up to 1,500 new homes in the north of the town, making Highfields a central location and addressing any shortage of home for people over 55.

Tom FitzPatrick, leader of NNDC, admitted that some people will object and some will support the plans but said the consultation, which will run until September 29, is to give people a chance to give their views.

“Those views will be fed into the next part of the decision making process and carefully considered,” he said.

“By 2020 the District Council’s grant from Government will be down to zero and we want to make sure we use our assets for the benefit of the community.

“By proposing a sale of the land for residential development we would not only provide more homes for people to live in, we would also raise useful funds. Our focus is on how the money raised could be used to attract future investment into Fakenham and boost its economy.”

The meeting will take place at 6.30pm on Monday, September 4 at the Fakenham Connect building on Oak Street.

To find out more about Highfields car park visit the NNDC website.

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