Wensum, by Jim Harding, March 22, 2016

Kings Lynn Cycling Club 50 Mile Roadrace ANL-151018-165847009
Kings Lynn Cycling Club 50 Mile Roadrace ANL-151018-165847009
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Active Fakenham will be hosting cycle races on Easter Sunday

To my mind, every councillor should not only be opinionated but have the savvy to express his or her point of view. This month’s meeting followed a predictable format but had me constantly engaged with bits of trivia derived from throw-away remarks as the evening progressed.

So the serious news that Trinity College had made an application to the district council to build some 900 houses on land to the north of Rudham Stile Lane prompted questions which, at this stage of the game, could not really be answered. When would building begin, which aspect of the project would be tackled first, who might the contractors be, what percentage of social housing would be included and so on.

Of course, this project had been flagged up some three years ago and there had already been an intensive consultation period. So everyone knew that it was going to happen and be a serious undertaking.

My mind immediately wandered to that part of the town’s outskirts with its open fields stretching away to the bypass. What a transformation in prospect. Not something for the dozens of households along that edge of North Park to contemplate with any sort of enthusiasm. Their peaceful outlook soon to be gone forever.

And then we were back to the Highfield Road car park and its future. Now under district council control again, this pot-holed space can no longer be accessed by vehicles whose height exceeds 3 metres. But with the announcement from district councillor John Rest that it would be the subject of an independent valuation, I could almost see the heads around the table fearing the worst. Without actually spelling it out, might this imply a sell-off for housing or other development? After all, the car park has always been free and there’s been immense pressure on the council to economise.

The question that did arise concerned ownership. Mayor Adrian Vertigan sought confirmation, presumably in written form, that this stretch of land did actually belong to the district. If that wasn’t forthcoming, I wondered, might Fakenham claim the space as its own? The plot thickens. At least we had clarification about the on-site loos. These would not be removed, we were assured, as long as the ground continued to be used as a car park. But how long might that be? Anybody’s guess.

n Active Fakenham will be hosting a variety of energetic activities this coming Easter Sunday in a virtual take-over of the town centre. A 1km circuit will be laid out to accommodate a quartet of Criterium cycle races of 5km for different age groups, a running race covering the same distance and an Easter fun run of just one circuit. This will inevitably mean road closures.

In addition to the races, local clubs and businesses will be manning stalls on the market place showcasing what they do, there will be free giveaways and something of a carnival atmosphere .

Organiser Richard Crook has driven Active Fakenham forward for the past four years and is keen to encourage more of us to get active. He has been delighted with the support from organisations in the town, Black Bikes from Sheringham, the East Coast Riders and members of Lynn Cycle Club who will be marshalling on the day. For latest information go to www.activefakenham.org.uk Also Facebook page and Twitter.