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Bus shelter plan for Hunstanton interchange site criticised

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Councillors in Hunstanton have been urged to “shoot down in flames” proposals for new waiting shelters which are intended to replace the town’s current bus station.

The proposed redevelopment of the site, which includes a new library and dozens of flats, was given the go-ahead by West Norfolk Council last month, subject to the completion of legal agreements.

New passenger shelters are set to be installed on St Edmunds Terrace as part of the project, which is also set to include a new public toilet block and retail unit.

Hunstanton Library and Bus Station.. (37125838)
Hunstanton Library and Bus Station.. (37125838)

But concerns were raised about their design, and who would maintain them, at a town council meeting, held over Zoom on Wednesday.

During public questions, former councillor David Jones said he felt the planned shelters were “totally inappropriate” for the area.

He continued: “I hope you will shoot them down in flames.”

And town mayor Tony Bishopp described initial designs he had been shown as “dire.”

Members deferred their response to the shelter proposal to request further information, although Mr Bishopp said he felt that was “procrastinating.”

Among the issues raised was the question of whether they were intended as bus stops, meaning that the town council would be expected to maintain them, or a replacement bus station which would normally make it a borough council responsibility.

Wendy Croucher argued it was not a good use of public funds for the town council to take responsibility for something that wasn’t part of its remit.

She asked: “Why should we take it on for them?”

But Mike Ruston said that position contradicted the town council’s desire to have control of the community centre.

He said: “We have to come to the party and work with these people.”

Questions were raised about whether the planned shelters were appropriate to be sited in the town’s conservation area.

But the meeting was told they would be allowed under permitted development rights if they met size criteria, following suggestions that they could be resisted on planning grounds.

Concerns were also raised about what some members viewed as insufficient parking space for the development.

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