Housing pressures in Cromer and surrounds to be tackled at upcoming meeting

An aerial photograph of Cromer pier, town and seafront. Picture: Graeme Taplin

An aerial photograph of Cromer pier, town and seafront. Picture: Graeme Taplin - Credit: citizenside.com

The need for affordable housing and the impact of second homes in Cromer and surrounding parishes will come under discussion at an upcoming meeting.

Whether or not the region needs a neighbourhood plan will also be talked about at the Greater Cromer Area Meeting.

Phil Harris, Cromer town councillor and vice chairman of the Norfolk Association of Local Councils, said the meeting would be an opportunity for town councillors, as well as those from Overstrand, Northrepps, Roughton, Felbrigg, the Runtons and Aylmerton parishes, to start working towards a shared vision for the region.

Mr Harris said: 'We want the whole area to continue being a nice place to live, but do what we can to protect the environment at the same time.'

He said they would look at the potential for a masterplan to guide the area's development, which would be more effective if neighbouring councils worked together.

Mr Harris said: 'It would be no good for one council to draw up a neighbourhood plan which is in conflict with another.

'It's a case of everyone coming together and pooling our time and expertise.'

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Elizabeth Withington will speak about the impact of second homes, which Mr Harris said made up more than 10pc of the housing stock in each parish.

And Nicky Debbage, North Norfolk District Council's local housing enabler, will talk about the establishment of a community land trust for the greater Cromer area.

Mr Harris said the region's 'low-wage economy', with many jobs in tourism and agriculture, was making it increasingly difficult for people who work in the area to afford homes there.

He said: 'It's easier for someone from London to buy a house in Cromer than it is for a local resident. With housing prices going up, one of the reasons for a community land trust is to look at ways to reduce the cost of housing and also put methods in place where that housing is available to local people first.'

Mr Harris said making it easier for people to work from home - for example by increasing broadband availability - was another issue that needed to be looked at.

He said the meeting was just for councillors, and a public meeting to discuss a neighbourhood plan would take place at a later date if the idea attracted enough support.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, December 12 at Cromer Community Centre.