Blueprints for more than 7,000 homes across Great Yarmouth borough

PUBLISHED: 10:01 11 December 2015 | UPDATED: 21:55 13 December 2015

Breydon Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge. Homes are earmarked for the riverside area of Great Yarmouth.  Picture: James Bass

Breydon Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge. Homes are earmarked for the riverside area of Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

A blueprint for the future of Great Yarmouth would see riverside areas of the town refreshed and more than 7,000 homes built in the borough.

Graham Plant, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council Graham Plant, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council

The borough council’s powerful cabinet this week approved the adoption of the new core strategy, which sets out an overarching vision for the area to 2030.

Central government requires that local authorities draw up a local plan, and the core strategy is the first document of this.

Government planning inspector Malcolm Rivett asked that the number of homes built over this period be increased to 7,140 from an original lower target of 5,700.

Two strategic sites have been identified for the bulk of the homes.

These are the Beacon Park extension site, near the new link road south of Bradwell, where around 1,000 homes have been earmarked, and a part of Yarmouth described as the waterfront area, where a further 1,000 homes are earmarked.

The waterfront area refers to riverside land at Cobholm between Breydon Bridge to south of Haven Bridge; on the Asda side of the river from Breydon Bridge round to Vauxhall Bridge and on to Runham; and on the east side of the river from Vauxhall Bridge to Haven Bridge, and inland around The Conge.

“The waterfront area in the heart of Great Yarmouth has the potential to become a vibrant urban quarter that utilises its rich heritage and prime urban riverside location to create a unique and high quality environment for housing, shopping and offices which is attractive to investors and visitors as well as new and existing residents,” the report states.

Graham Plant, leader of the council, hailed the core strategy report as a “fantastic” piece of work at this week’s cabinet meeting.

It sets out ambitions to provide safe pedestrian links throughout and to neighbouring areas, with high quality public transport services.

There are also hopes of improving links between the railway station and Market Place, and to maximise public access to the waterfront area through the use of walkways and open spaces, where this does not conflict with port activity or safety requirements.

The report also sets out a vision to make the most of the “prime riverside location” by creating “distinctive high quality architecture of an appropriate scale” that complements the surrounding historic environment.

Heritage assets of the area such as the historic townscape and important historic buildings would also be made the most of, converting buildings to other uses where appropriate.

“By 2030, the borough of Great Yarmouth will be a more attractive and aspirational place to live, work and play, with strong links to Lowestoft, the Broads, Norwich, rural Norfolk and the wider New Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk) Local Enterprise Partnership area,” the report says.

It notes that the borough’s population is 97,300, an increase of 6.9% in the last decade.

The majority of new homes would be built in in Yarmouth and Gorleston, and “key service centres” like Bradwell and Caister.

It is hoped that the expansion of the energy sector and port industries with the continuing attraction of the coast and the Broads will “substantially reduce” seasonal unemployment, and a third river crossing over the River Yare is envisioned.

The inspector recommended that the amount of new retail floorspace allocated be reduced as it was not required.

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