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New car park plan clears major hurdle

PUBLISHED: 16:48 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:56 13 July 2010

A major roadblock in the bid to build a new car park in Holt has been removed after the Environment Agency withdrew its objections to the scheme.

Plans for the 400 space facility, which would be built on a green field site off Thornage Road, 10 minutes walk from the town centre, were approved by North Norfolk District Council in January.

A major roadblock in the bid to build a new car park in Holt has been removed after the Environment Agency withdrew its objections to the scheme.

Plans for the 400 space facility, which would be built on a green field site off Thornage Road, 10 minutes walk from the town centre, were approved by North Norfolk District Council in January.

But the approval was delegated with planning officers saying they required more information on certain issues such as lighting and drainage before they could give the final nod.

A major obstacle in getting that OK was an objection by the Environment Agency, whose concerns included flood risk caused by rainwater draining from the large expanse of asphalt.

But now developer Graham Chapman has submitted detailed drainage plans for the site and the EA has said it finds these acceptable enough to withdraw its objection.

Last night Mr Chapman said: “This is one of the final hurdles and I would hope things can move on shortly.

“The main problem was dealing with the surface water and we have got a design which will work well.

“This system was always something we had intended to put in.”

Plans for the surface water drains consist of two 60m and one 135m long soakaways which will run the length of the car park.

Waste from the site's public toilets will be dealt with by either a sewage treatment plant or by pumping it into sewers on nearby Norwich Road.

Planners at NNDC say they expect the final outstanding issue of lighting to be resolved soon.

The application for the car park has proved controversial and the planning file at NNDC now runs into two thick volumes with countless letters both for and against the scheme.

After years of searching for a potential site, Mr Chapman offered to build a privately run car park on the Thornage Road site in 2005.

Plans were initially approved in 2006 but alterations to the plans meant approval had to be sought again earlier this year.

Throughout the application process environmentalist, who fear for nearby wildlife sites, have been set against traders and others in the town who say the car park is the only viable way to avert gridlock in the Georgian market town.

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