Setback in Cromer bus station bid

A bid to revive Cromer's old bus station through a council compulsory purchase has hit a delay after the site owners launched a high court challenge over a planning decision.

A bid to revive Cromer's old bus station through a council compulsory purchase has hit a delay after the site owners launched a High Court challenge over a planning decision.

Campaigners have been battling to fend off a bid by developers Ortona to put a shop and flats on the Prince of Wales Road site.

Local people and transport lobbyists voiced concerns after the station was shut in April 2006, and have been among those opposing its redevelopment, saying the busy seaside town needed a bus station - even though the main bus companies were happy to operate at street-side stops.

Hopes were high after a planning inspector rejected the company's appeal against refusal of the scheme, and Norfolk County Council stepped in to say it would look at compulsory purchase of the plot to restore the bus station if Ortona did not want to sell.

But a council spokesman yesterday confirmed the setback, saying: "We understand that Ortona, the owners of the bus station, intend to appeal against the planning inspector's decision upholding refusal of their planning application for residential and retail units on the site."

A hearing was expected in the High Court in September. The council was continuing to negotiate with Ortona to acquire the site to restore its use as a bus station, but had stated its intention to use compulsory purchase if necessary.

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