Council takes steps to keep tax down in North Norfolk

Potential development at sites in Holt and Cromer will be part of a wider strategy announced by North Norfolk District Council to keep the district’s element of council tax frozen.
Budget proposals to maintain a zero council tax rise for the seventh year in a row at £138.87 for a Band D property will be considered by the council’s cabinet when it meets on Monday (February 6). Any decision will then be referred to full council.
On the agenda cabinet members will consider two key budget reports – the 2017/18 Budget Report and the Strategic Property Development Partner and Work Programme.
These two papers set out how the council could operate with no council tax increase in 2017/18 at a time when other authorities are planning to increase their charge.
The strategy looks to take a more commercial approach to council-owned assets and considers developing four key sites in the district.
These include a residential development at Grove Lane in Holt and a commercial development at Cadogan Road in Cromer.
The Holt site is a former council depot, more recently leased to Norfolk County Council for office use, a two-storey office building, two workshop or storage buildings and a yard area. The property has been vacant for two years.
The site would require significant investment to be re-let for business use and would have a greater value through accommodating a residential development, subject to planning approval, the council said.
Two proposals have been examined, one for five houses to be sold and the other for eight houses to be rented.
The Cromer site is a central car and coach park facility with public toilet block, set back from the seafront.
The site has been identified to accommodate a development, subject to planning approval, by a national hotel chain, while allowing some continued public parking. There has been interest by two hotel operators in recent years – Premier Inn and Travelodge. Both operators are understood to be seeking to develop an 80 room hotel in the town.
Any development of the car park to accommodate a hotel would require alternative coach parking and it has been suggested alternative facilities could be provided on the surfaced area of the nearby Runton Road car park.
Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council said: “North Norfolk is a well-run, financially sound authority that delivers excellent services: by continually working to ensure that we are innovative, efficient and effective across all our operations, we are able to bring forward budget proposals that would freeze our council tax rate for the seventh year in a row.”
The council is in a strong financial position for 2017/18 and 2018/19 but Government funding to the council is reducing and there is a forecast deficit of £700,000 in 2019/20 and £1.3m in 2020/21. This figure already includes the council raising income or identifying savings totalling £3 million pounds.

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