Date published: 1st April 2024

Monday April 1st, 2024 marks 50 years since the formation of North Norfolk District Council – a milestone anniversary of proudly serving the people of North Norfolk since 1974.

The District Council was formed following the Local Government Act 1972, which sought to reform local administration from 1245 to 412 council bodies, unifying municipal boroughs, urban districts and rural districts into a two-tier authority system, with clearer responsibilities, boundaries and combining collective expertise.

North Norfolk District Council replaced seven urban and rural districts – Cromer Urban District, Erpingham Rural District, North Walsham Urban District, Sheringham Urban District, Smallburgh Rural District, Walsingham Rural District and Wells-next-the-Sea Urban District.

Several names were considered for the newly formed Council, the most popular within the outgoing Councils being Pastonacres, named after the Paston family, who had held significant lands in the district since medieval times.

Other names considered were Seafields, Norfolk Coastal and Cromer. The initial working name of Pastonacres District Council proved unpopular locally and the Council formally ratified a name change to North Norfolk District Council.

North Norfolk District Council inherited several notable landmarks or historic premises in the district, such as Cromer Pier, Cedar House in North Walsham and Sheringham Little Theatre.

Terry Nolan served as the first Chief Executive of the Council, with Mr. Graham Allen serving as the first Chairman.

In 1988, construction began on a single permanent office headquarters for the Council with the Holt Road building, still occupied by the Council to this day, opening doors for the first time in 1990.

Council Offices under construction

NNDC Offices under construction, 1990.

The facilities were officially opened by King Charles, then the Prince of Wales, in January 1991.

King Charles opening North Norfolk District Council's Offices

King Charles opening the Council Offices, 1991.

At the Council’s inception, it had responsibility for statutory services including environmental and waste services, planning and land management. Over the years, it has developed further discretional services to support North Norfolk, such as leisure services and countryside management.

Cllr. Tim Adams, Leader of the Council said:

“50 years as an authority is an incredible milestone and much has happened in North Norfolk over this time. North Norfolk is not only a fantastic place to live, but also to work and visit.

We are excited to commemorate our 50th Anniversary which provides an ideal opportunity for the Council and residents to celebrate our fantastic District and acknowledge the contributions made by so many people to the life of North Norfolk.”

Chief Executive, Steve Blatch said:

“For 50 years this Council has proudly served our towns and villages and we will continue to deliver high-quality services for the people who live, work and visit our beautiful District”

To celebrate the milestone, the Council would like to capture the historical moments of how the Council has served its communities over the last 50 years to help form a timeline of key events and community memories which can be displayed and then archived for future generations.

Residents are invited to share their own North Norfolk memories, stories and photographs with us by emailing or by bringing them to the Council Offices to be scanned.

We will also use your memories to help us showcase North Norfolk’s 50 years in our resident’s magazine Outlook and across our social media channels.

To celebrate the 50-year milestone, Council staff and members will take part in volunteer events and activities across the district.

A few moments from the last 50 years:

Image of Princess Diana opening Splash in 1988.

Opening of Splash, 1988. Image credits: Archant/Newsquest Library

Damage to Cromer Pier, 1993. Image credits: Archant/Newsquest Library

Damaged beach huts during 2013 storm surge

Beach huts after storm surge, 2013.

Council Officer delivering prescriptions, stood outside a surgery, holding two boxes of medicine.

NNDC staff delivering prescriptions during COVID lockdown, 2020.

Lady discovering intact mammoth skull on beach

Discovery of Steppe Mammoth, 1990. Image credit: Harold Hems

Workers on site at The Reef

Construction of The Reef, 2021.

Diggers on beach at Sandscaping Scheme

Sandscaping Scheme at Bacton, 2019.

Last updated: 1st April 2024