Future of Norfolk town could depend on a US woman’s signature

Former Holt mayor Duncan Baker at the site of the new town car park in Cley Road: Picture: David Bal

Former Holt mayor Duncan Baker at the site of the new town car park in Cley Road: Picture: David Bale - Credit: Archant

The future of a thriving north Norfolk town could depend on tracking down a woman in America and getting her to sign a contract to release land for a car park.

Holt Town Council announced a year ago that builders were set to start work on a new car park at a former poultry farm site in Cley Road.

The council paid £1,200 in legal fees in connection with the car park, but 12 months down the line no work has been carried out, which has prompted a heated debate on social media.

This particular 'can of worms' was opened on the Holt and District Community Facebook Group by Liz Bayley, who complained that it was 'dreadful' to see so many parked cars when she drove into town via the cemetery.

She queried whether the new car park was still coming to Cley Road, and Holt town councillor Martin Batey said: 'Yes, as soon as the owner provides a signature to contract with HTC.'

Mr Batey, in response to further posts, said that, 'as soon as have that, work will commence as it is already budgeted for. It isn't for lack of trying. Until the vendor signs, nothing will happen unfortunately.'

It has now emerged that the woman whose signature is required is in America.

Mr Batey added: 'It's quite difficult to get hold of her. It's in the hands of her solicitors who are trying to find her.

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'Last year we were hoping work on the car park would start straightaway. We are stuffed with the parking issues, as that's the only site the town council can do anything with.'

Duncan Baker, then Holt Mayor, said in 2017 that the new 80-space public car park had been on the cards for more than five years,.

He said it would be 'the first major car park to be delivered in many years and a much-needed solution to the chronic problem of parking in the town'.

He added: 'As well as alleviating the huge pressure on the town to deliver a car park, it will ensure tourists, residents and workers have somewhere to park and explore the town from.'