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Pledge over bus station site

PUBLISHED: 15:27 13 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:50 13 July 2010

CROMER'S long wait for a new bus station could soon be over - and council bosses have pledged to build it on the site of the old one.

Norfolk County Council has said it is determined to put the town's bus station back on its original site.

CROMER'S long wait for a new bus station could soon be over - and council bosses have pledged to build it on the site of the old one.

Norfolk County Council has said it is determined to put the town's bus station back on its original site.

The land, at the corner of Prince of Wales Road and Cadogan Road, just minutes' walk from the town centre, has stood unused since the station was shut in April 2006.

But now the county council has said it will negotiate with current owners Ortona to buy the site but if they refuse to sell it will be compulsorily purchased.

Steven Reilly, from Norfolk County Council, said: “We believe the current bus station is the most suitable location.

“We know that this view is supported by North Norfolk District Council and Cromer Town Council, as well as many Cromer residents, groups, and societies.

“On that basis, we have formally contacted the landowner to let them know that we are looking to acquire the site.

“We hope that we can come up with a mutually satisfactory arrangement for this to be done.

“However, if we are not able to reach an agreement with the landowner, we will be looking to compulsory purchase the site.”

Last night, campaigners, who have long fought to see the station reopen on its original site, welcomed the news.

John Peacock, spokesman for Norwich and Norfolk Transport Action Group, said: “This is a very good step and is something we welcome.

“We need to get a bus station back in Cromer at the earliest opportunity.

“At the moment we have an unsatisfactory situation where buses are stopping on the street and holding up traffic and passengers do not have the right facilities.”

Last year, Ortona had an application to build a shop and 12 flats on the land thrown out by planners at North Norfolk District Council.

At an appeal hearing planning inspector Mike Moore said losing the existing bus station site would be a significant retrograde step unless it was clear that not only could the facilities be provided elsewhere but also there was funding to achieve the move.

Cannon Derek Elton, who has campaigned hard to retain the station, said the inspector's ruling had paved the way for the council's current actions.

He said: “We are very grateful to the council for what they have said about restoring the bus station.

“I would like to thank all those who have campaigned and made the case for the bus station in Cromer.”

As yet there is no timetable in place for building work to begin.

Nobody from Ortona was available for comment.

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