'Have we forgotten Greta Thunberg?' Green fears raised as councillors back Hunstanton bus station development
Councillors have backed the proposed redevelopment of Hunstanton's bus station, despite opponents using the message of teenage environment activist Greta Thunberg against it.
Plans for dozens of flats, a new library, public toilets and a retail unit on the site were approved, subject to the completion of legal agreements, by West Norfolk Council's planning committee on Monday.
The borough council-proposed scheme will see the current bus stops at the interchange moved onto St Edmund's Terrace.
But the scheme was opposed by the borough's main bus operator, Lynx, who offered to buy the site last year and maintain it as a bus station, partly on safety grounds.
That view was supported by Margi Blunden, of the Hunstanton and District Civic Society, who called for the operator to be consulted on the provision of an alternative stopping site, potentially in Westgate.
She argued that the development would increase congestion and pollution, making the area more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists and potentially harming the trade of nearby cafes which offer outdoor seating.
She said: "This part of the development is fraught with avoidable pitfalls.
"Have we all forgotten the name of Greta Thunberg? She would, I’m sure be able to address this meeting with more force than I have been able to do but she would certainly support my arguments."
Committee member Terry Parish said the Lynx offer appeared to have been ignored and appeared a better way forward.
He added: "A bus station in Hunstanton is a vital resource. You have one.
"If you build on it, you haven’t got one and the alternatives that have been offered are inadequate."
But committee chairman Chris Crofts reminded members that the application had been supported by Hunstanton's town council.
Tony Bubb said no extra facilities were being lost through the development, but did raise concerns about the potential for damage to neighbouring buildings from pyledriving during the construction process. Officials said a construction management plan would be required.
And former committee chairman Vivienne Spikings said the development would be a "vast improvement" to the area.