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Fresh push to break Holt car park stalemate

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 March 2012

Local councillors discuss the planned Holt car park site with Graham Chapman, third from left.

Local councillors discuss the planned Holt car park site with Graham Chapman, third from left.

A fresh move is being made to end the deadlock over a planned new car park at Holt.

The popular shopping town has been crying out for more spaces for years, but after council bids to find more parking hit a brick wall, private developer Graham Chapman gained permission for a 385-space site off Thornage Road back in 2009.

But efforts to make it a reality are stuck in stalemate centring on negotiations with Norfolk County Council over access.

MP Norman Lamb has stepped in, and collected a 500-name petition with district councillor Philip High that will be handed in to county hall on Monday.

In an open letter to the council leader Derrick Murphy the MP says the county’s demands for a pedestrian right of way had risen in the past year from £43,000 to £120,000 - a sum that was “not an acceptable proposition” as Mr Chapman could not pay it.

“Businesses have been crying out for extra space for many years and the situation needs to be resolved urgently,” said Mr Lamb.

The council’s changing position had not helped secure the access agreement, he added.

Mr Lamb said: “It is time for the Conservatives at county hall to end this block on a new car park for Holt. Local people are impatient for progress and have waited far too long. It is also essential for shops and other businesses in the town.”

Deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats at county hall, Mervyn Scutter, will hand over the petition which calls on Norfolk County Council “to do everything on its power to expedite the development of the Thornage Road Car Park, to solve Holt’s chronic parking problems and support local businesses.”

Mr Lamb’s letter calls on council leader Mr Murphy to intervene to “bring this saga to a conclusion”.

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