McCarthy and Stone’s planning permission for the Hamon Court retirement village in St Edmund’s Terrace was rejected by Hunstanton and the borough councils.
It was taken to appeal. The defence of this cost borough council taxpayers nearly half a million pounds and the council lost, ostensibly on the grounds of the benefit to the town of such apartments for old people and income to the area. There is no apparent retirement village as such in this development but there will be very expensive flats for a few wealthy retired people.
The company has, from the onset, neglected anticipation of any consequent pollution and environmental issues. It failed to put up a screen around the site during clearance, with intense dust and noise. Grit in windy conditions was blowing into cafes.
The screen was put up after the event. The refusal to consider compensation for the losses on those days due to unacceptable noise of piling and general disruption is completely contrary to the decision to pay over £100,000 to the borough council for the loss of parking revenue when they allowed the developers to use half the car park behind the site, causing more inconvenience to residents.
The intensity of the pile driving caused much anxiety in the town. NatWest Bank staff felt the ground shake and found a small piece of fallen masonry in the entrance, noticing a large crack across the lintel. Owing to the fragility of Hunstanton’s chalk and soft stone crust, it is possible other properties may find structural and superficial damage when this unwanted four-and-a-half storey block is completed. Another hidden problem is a possible 140mph wind vortex whipping all in its path. Be prepared to batten down the hatches in the spinney area during the coming winter months of discontent.