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Talks begin over Hunstanton library move idea

Alistair Beales.
Alistair Beales.

Talks are underway over proposals which could lead to a West Norfolk town’s library being moved to a new site, council chiefs have revealed.

Town, district and county council representatives are involved in discussions over the potential future use of the site of the library and bus station in Hunstanton.

Questions have previously been raised over the future of the sites, as work on a review of public sector assets in the resort continues.

Alistair Beales, cabinet member for corporate projects and assets, said: “We are at the very early stages of looking for options to provide better access to the library services.

“If we are able to find a suitable alternative location, then this could potentially open up the bus station site for redevelopment.

“Over the coming months we will also be undertaking traffic studies to see what opportunities there may be for improving town-wide access to the bus services.”

Concerns were raised about the prospect of moving the interchange away from its current position in the summer, following speculation that the coach park in Southend Road had been identified as a potential alternative site.

A town council meeting in June was told such a move could “kill” the town centre and High Street.

But borough officials said residents would be consulted over any proposals that are brought forward.

There have also been suggestions that the library could be moved to the old junior school building in James Street.

Meanwhile, consultations are expected to start in the new year on plans which could see a housing development, largely comprising affordable homes, brought forward at a site on Alexandra Road.

Borough officials say the idea was broadly welcomed by town councillors last month and further discussions with them and other interested parties are now set to take place.

An open consultation is then set to take place early in 2018 before a planning application is submitted.

Adrian Lawrence, borough council cabinet member for housing and community, said: “Areas on the north Norfolk coast, such as Hunstanton, are affected by their strong second homes market.

House prices get pushed up and it becomes increasingly difficult for local people to buy or rent their own home in the town.

“This funding will help to address that need. The site will feature a larger proportion of affordable homes, with a smaller proportion available for sale on the open market.”

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