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Will any new Hunstanton masterplan replace precious crown jewels we lost?




Turnstone column, by John Maiden

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the public consultation on West Norfolk Council’s plans for a housing development that would result in the loss of 100 spaces in the Southend Road car park.

Instead, my response had to be in the form of an email in which I made the following observations.

Hunstanton's southern seafront inthe 1950's. (30931099)
Hunstanton's southern seafront inthe 1950's. (30931099)

Firstly, I wanted to know if the council would abandon the project if a majority of respondents to the consultation were opposed to it.

Judging from past experience I cannot envisage this happening, but it did not deter me from having a go at pointing out the harmful effects that would impact on local residents, businesses and, of course, visitors to the town.

In no particular order of priorities I argued the case for adhering to the Town Council’s Neighbourhood Plan, which makes the case for retaining the existing number of car parking spaces.

I went on to point out the half-baked nature of previous schemes.

These included the Seagate Piazza, which might justifiably be described as ‘the road to nowhere’!

The Westgate Spinney project similarly failed to follow through, because it was supposed to include an upgrade of the High Street but failed to do anything of the sort.

Unless,of course, raising the level of the carriageway to match the height of the informal pedestrian crossings is deemed to improve road safety!

Another opportunity was lost when the council chose to invest just five per cent towards the cost of the Heritage Gardens project when, if the council had been prepared to put up 10 per cent, the grant available would have enabled the Esplanade Gardens and the whole of The Green to berestored to their original 1950’s appearance, instead of getting stuck in a cut-price 1960’s rut!

It was to be hoped that the council had learned from past mistakes in Hunstanton, and from the KLIC debacle in South Lynn, but perhaps you have to be a local resident, or daily commuter to Hunstanton, to appreciate the full implications of the latest ill conceived proposals coming from the decision-makers in Lynn.

Believing firmly in the principle that one picture is worth 1,000 words, I sent in a photograph showing the Southern Seafront in the 1950’s,complete with a prestigious Victorian building, formerly the Sandringham Hotel; a thriving railway station; swimming pool and boating lake.

Will any ‘masterplan’ for the town come close to matching these priceless ‘crown jewels’?


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