Turnstone, by John Maiden, January 20, 2015

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According to the song by D Ream, ‘Things can only get better’, but from where I was sitting last Wednesday evening it looked as if things could only get worse.

This was because Hunstanton Town Council had just voted 8-5 not to oppose the construction of a roundabout on the A149 providing vehicular access to the proposed Hopkins Homes development of 166 homes to the north of Hunstanton Road, Heacham.

This recommendation is likely to be adopted at the council meeting being held this Friday evening.

If the road layout is approved, traffic from Heacham will have to give way to traffic from the new housing estate before joining the A 149 at the proposed roundabout.

This will not only be bad news for those who live or take their holidays in Heacham, it will also make life more difficult for Hunstanton’s residents and visitors, because an additional roundabout anywhere on the A149 is bound to disrupt the flow of traffic into and out of the town.

This leads me to ask why West Norfolk Council wants Hunstanton to build exactly 333 new homes within the next ten years?

And also, why is it so important to have nearly half of them on Redgate Hill, with vehicular access via the neighbouring village of Heacham?

Within the last few months it has been revealed that it would be possible to accommodate all 333 homes on two sites east of the A149 which would be much closer to the town centre; but in order to justify building so many new homes south of the town,West Norfolk Council has reduced the number of homes allocated to the other two sites by more than 50 per cent.

As yet no explanation has

been forthcoming for this decision.

n Bad news is likely to get even worse in the coming months if the central car park, next to the Princess Theatre, loses a third of its 61 parking bays so that they can be used by contractors for a year during construction of the McCarthy & Stone ‘later living’ apartments in St Edmund’s Terrace.

To their credit, town councillors were united in their support for a letter to be sent to West Norfolk Council expressing concern at this proposed loss of town centre parking spaces.

n On a much brighter note, tomorrow evening’s illustrated talk in the town hall, hosted by Hunstanton and District Civic Society, will be all about Hunstanton’s Evening Stars. The speaker is Mr Terry Parish, who for the time being at least, should encounter no delays as he travels from his home in Heacham! Admission is free to members and £3 for non- members. Refreshments cost 50p.

n And finally, a Turnstone footnote. Last Wednesday evening the town council also voted (12-2) not to complete a CPRE questionnaire on light pollution, thereby proving the point that there is no confusing a town councillor with an Evening Star.