Car park to provide free parking during works in North Walsham
- Credit: Google
A car park that has been fenced off for three years could open next month providing free parking during works in North Walsham town centre.
The facility on Hornbeam Road will be discussed by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) on Monday, March 28, when cabinet will recommend operating the car park without charges for nine months from April 1 this year.
A report prepared ahead of the meeting states that the impact of work in North Walsham Marketplace planned for this summer, which is going to restrict access to some areas of the town centre, would be made easier if some alternative long-stay free parking could be provided in the town.
The Hornbeam Road site "could meet this need at no significant cost to the council", the report states.
The car park is next to the train station and part of the wider mixed-use development of the former HL Foods factory site by Hopkins Homes.
It was completed in 2019, when responsibility passed from the developers to the district council.
The car park has remained fenced off and not available for use until early February of this year. Since then it has been used two or three days a week for the mobile Covid testing facility.
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It is anticipated that this use will conclude this month.
This has led to questions from residents and business owners, including Screwfix and Westover Vets, about the future of the car park, prompting increased expectation that it should not remain closed once the Covid testing operation ends.
The report states that this presents a challenge to the council because a new car park order will not be available until early July and the council has not yet made any formal decisions regarding charges.
During the initial nine-month period of use without charges, a longer-term charging and management strategy will be worked out.
The 50-space car park is intended to serve increasing numbers of rail passengers in the future.
In January the council announced that a hardware supplies operator is to lease three units on Hornbeam Road.
The road itself is named after a pair of hornbeam trees which used to stand at the entrance of the HL Foods site.