Firm’s offer for car park spaces in Hunstanton

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Part of a car park at Hunstanton could be out of action for up to a year if a nearby housing development is given the go-ahead.

Developers say they have offered £75,000 to lease part of the Central car park at the resort for the building of a proposed retirement housing complex, if it gets planning permission.

As previously reported, McCarthy & Stone is seeking to build 32 retirement apartments on the old garage site in St Edmund’s Terrace. A planning decision has still to be made.

In a statement released yesterday, the company confirmed it had approached West Norfolk Council about the possibility of renting up to 25 spaces during any building work.

A spokesman said the firm is currently reviewing exactly how many spaces would be needed, but said any part of the car park that was needed would be used as a storage compound.

It is also expected that the area would not be needed until September, meaning drivers would still be able to use the whole car park during the school summer holidays.

He added: “The majority of the car park would be unaffected by the plans and remain open as normal to the public throughout the construction phase.”

Although no official time scales have been placed on how long any lease might be in place for, council chiefs have estimated that any agreement may need to be in place for up to a year.

The developers claim their offer is 50 per cent more than the total the council makes from the car park in a year.

But Alistair Beales, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said it had been made clear to the company that a decision on the planning application would come first.

He said the developer would have “a great deal of difficulty” with any building work without accessing the car park.

But he warned: “It’s planning first and then we’ll talk about those aspects.”

Mr Beales added that he felt any money gained from an agreement should be spent in the resort.