Councillor to recommend Highfield car park remains open

Highfield Road Car Park in Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Highfield Road Car Park in Fakenham. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Public outcry over plans to sell a popular car park has convinced some councillors that the proposal may be misguided.

North Norfolk District Councillor Judy Oliver said the views of the public over the proposed closure of Highfield Road car park has been carefully considered after an online survey and confirmed she will recommend against closing the car park at the council’s next cabinet meeting.

“We have listened to the people of Fakenham and we have attached a great deal of weight to the representations put forward by the Town Council which were evidenced based and persuasive,” she said.

“I will be recommending to the Council’s Cabinet on the 30th October that Highfield Road Car Park is retained as a car park and that car park charges are introduced to bring it in line with other council car parks in the town.”

According to an extract from a cabinet paper, seen by this newspaper, the recommendation will propose keeping Highfield under the management of NNDC and introduce a new parking charge from April 1, 2018.

The document also recommends establishing a capital budget of £75,000 to fund improvement work, financed through capital receipts.

Councillor Oliver added: “The report has to go to Cabinet on Monday October 30 for a formal decision but I hope people will see that it’s always worth responding to consultations and we do take very seriously residents’ views as we try to make decisions in the best interests of our taxpayers.

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“The possibility of coach and bus parking in Fakenham was also discussed during the consultation. I hope that this can be further considered by the joint working party set up between Fakenham Town Council and NNDC.”

Councillor Annie-Claussen Reynolds and Councillor Roy Reynolds, Ward Members for Fakenham’s Lancaster Ward, added: “We are pleased that so many people completed the survey and once it was clear that the majority wanted to keep the car park this gave us a steer. We have requested that the toilets are refurbished, and, also, a couple of coach places are provided.”

Town Mayor, George Acheson, said: “I am delighted to hear of this decision, yet to be ratified, by NNDC. The Town Council accepts that it was inevitable that charges would be made as this is fixed NNDC policy, so that this was the best outcome that could be achieved.

“I would like to thank all those councillors who put in the hard work necessary to produce the evidence that caused NNDC to reconsider.”

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