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Further details released on plans for Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park

By East Lindsey Target  |  Posted: October 06, 2012

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FURTHER details have been released on plans for a new visitor's centre at Chapel Point.

Local residents packed out Chapel St Leonards village hall to receive a presentation from Lincolnshire County Council representatives on proposals which will see the area form the gateway to the Lincolnshire Coastal Country Park.

Although final designs have yet to be drawn up, LCC's architect Stuart Palmer showed those present proposed internal layouts for the building which is set to include a 70-seat cafe, bird observatory, gallery space and National Coastwatch lookout point.

Peter Fender from the council's Economic Regeneration department said: "It's all about the view, and this is the best site we found on the Lincolnshire coast. It's a very special site.

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"We want to provide an additional attraction along the coast to extend the tourist season, something to encourage tourists to stay a little bit longer.

"It's intended to be a building that fits in and on the seaward side it's a dramatic building that attracts visitors."

The project, the cost of which has not yet been unveiled, is being funded by Lincolnshire County Council with help from the Arts Council of England who have been keen to establish an arts space in the area.

Once completed, LCC plans to hand the development over to the parish council to run.

At the meeting, residents raised concerns about responsibility for the building being handed to the parish council, after seeing their council tax precepts rise considerably to cover the costs of running and maintaining public toilets when these were passed over from East Lindsey District Council.

Many feared that they would find themselves paying to support the visitor's centre in years to come.

County councillor for the area, Colin Davie, tried to reassure residents, saying: "I will make sure that doesn't happen. The deal for the public toilets was not the right deal. They should have held out for a better deal.

"As your county councillor I will make sure the deal is the right one to protect the people of Chapel St Leonards from that happening in the village."

A straw poll carried out at the meeting saw more than half of those attending in favour of the development, subject to seeing the final designs before they get to the planning stage and being presented with a robust business plan.

On Sunday, October 14, representatives from ArtsNK will be at Chapel St Leonards village hall between 12pm and 6pm for any local artists to put forward their ideas for how the gallery space in the visitor's centre could be used.

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