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Hopes for action to fill pot holes on Dereham's biggest car park

PUBLISHED: 09:51 28 March 2013 | UPDATED: 09:51 28 March 2013

Huge pot holes have worsened in the road of the main entrance to the Cherry Tree car park in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Huge pot holes have worsened in the road of the main entrance to the Cherry Tree car park in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

The Times this week calls for urgent action to be taken to finaly sort out the "disgrace" of pot holes at the entrance to Dereham's biggest car park.

Huge pot holes have worsened in the road of the main entrance to the Cherry Tree car park in Dereham. Picture: Ian BurtHuge pot holes have worsened in the road of the main entrance to the Cherry Tree car park in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Anger is growing in the town at the size and number of holes near the Cherry Tree, which are damaging cars and creating dangers for local people and visitors.

More than 15 large holes have littered the area for too long - and are getting worse as the winter weather continues to bite.

There have finally been indications this week that work could be carried out to deal with the problem.

But there is still a feeling around the town of “we will believe it when we see it.”

Huge pot holes have worsened in the road of the main entrance to the Cherry Tree car park in Dereham. Picture: Ian BurtHuge pot holes have worsened in the road of the main entrance to the Cherry Tree car park in Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Speaking at last week’s annual Dereham town meeting, Roger Atterwill, chairman of Swanton Morley Parish Council, said: “It is absolutely disgraceful. Breckland Council should hold their heads in shame.

“Please, please for the sake of Dereham get it sorted out. A lot of people who come in to the town think it is a disgrace,”

Mr Atterwill carried out his own temporary repairs last September when he became so frustrated about the state of the road.

This week the landlady at the Cherry Tree pub, Morgana Hale, 21, confirmed to the Times that the Chinese pub owners have had an estimate for the work, and will be filling the holes “in the next few weeks”.

Miss Hale, who is a joint lease holder with her sister, said she is pleased the holes are finally set to be filled, and added: “If it was our responsibility we would have done it as soon as possible.”

Breckland Council owns the majority of the car park off Theatre Street and Market Place, but has refused to do anything about the deep holes.

The authority says it is not its land and the maintenance is the responsibility of the Cherry Tree pub’s Chinese owners - who they say were “unresponsive” when asked to act.

Breckland told The Times it will be working with the owner’s of the pub to let people know about the work.

But yesterday when we sought clarification from the council about when exactly the work may start, we were told no more information was available and a date was being sought from the owners,

The Times has been unable to make contact with the owners.

Brian Cuddihy, has owned the barber shop Dads & Lads on the car park for 17 years.

He says his customers use the car park on a daily basis, and many are now being forced to park elsewhere because of the holes.

Mr Cuddihy, who was forced to pay £500 to repair his exhaust pipe after it was badly damaged at the entrance to the car park, said: “It’s affecting all businesses this end of the town and it’s really not helping businesses at all.”

And Kim Wheeler, 56, from Beeston, said he has damaged his car wheel on the holes.

He said: “I pay my council and corporation tax, so I think they should sort it out.

“It’s regardless who’s responsibility it is, they should put it right and argue about it later.”

*What do you think about the pot holes? Have you been injured or has your vehicle been damaged by the holes? Contact the Times, Bond House, High Street, Dereham, NR19 1DZ or email dft.letters@archant.co.uk.

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