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Developer plans for 250 homes on old Pontins site in Hemsby

10:26 12 September 2014

The former Pontins holiday centre site in Hemsby. 
April 2013.

Picture: James Bass

The former Pontins holiday centre site in Hemsby. April 2013. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2013

New plans to build homes on a derelict holiday camp in Hemsby have kicked up fresh fears over the impact of large housing developments.

The former Pontins holiday centre site in Hemsby. 
April 2013.

Picture: James BassThe former Pontins holiday centre site in Hemsby. April 2013. Picture: James Bass

Persimmon Homes is holding a public exhibition on Wednesday, unveiling their plans to put housing on the old Pontin’s holiday camp in Beach Road.

The 2,440-capacity site with 512 run-down chalets has been empty since 2008 when Pontins closed it “following a period of sustained operating losses”. There has been public concern over its future ever since. Nine months ago, Great Yarmouth Borough Council used legal powers to force the landowner Northern Trust to clean up the eyesore. There were plans to put homes on the site back in 2011 but the scheme was pulled in January 2012 following heated objections from residents.

This time, Persimmon Homes - one of the biggest developers of new homes in the UK - is inviting residents to give their views on their proposal.

The exhibition of plans will be held at the pavilion on Hemsby Playing Field from 3.30pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday.

Andrew Fuller, managing director of Persimmon Homes Anglia, said: “We want to give local people the opportunity to fully understand what we aim to deliver at Hemsby and allow them to air their views, before we submit any planning application.

“Initial proposals are for around 250 properties. As a responsible builder, we want to be certain that local residents have had a full opportunity to contribute to our plans so we look forward to receiving their suggestions at the public exhibition meeting.”

Glen Taylor, chairman of Hemsby Parish Council, said: “Until the plans are there, no one can say what they feel about them one way or the other.

“But I think people are going to have to wake up and smell the coffee. We are a holiday resort but whether the industry will come back like it used to be, I don’t know.”

Borough councillor Shirley Weymouth questioned whether Hemsby had the infrastructure to cope with a large housing development, adding that it remains council policy for the “prime” site to remain as holiday provision.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is part-way through updating it’s borough-wide housing and land-use policy. The cross-party vision for growth over the next 15 years is set out in a document called the Core Strategy, part of the legally-binding Local Plan.

Before the Local Plan, which is currently being looked at by the national Planning Inspector, comes into force, the council has an interim policy which guides all planning decisions and should protect land set aside for specific use, such as holiday or retail.

But councillor George Jermany, who represents the East Flegg ward, voiced concern that large developers are pushing forward with plans before the permanent policy comes into force.

“I’m a member of the Beach Road association and I think we all agree that we’re a holiday village and that is a prime holiday site,” he said.

nSee more on this story in today’s Great Yarmouth Mercury.

10 comments

  • I think there should be a mix of houses and holiday homes. The houses should be of a variety that reflect the Norfolk styles and character homes in the surrounding areas, and perhaps incorporate a picturesque focal point with a bit of wow factor. The village sort of lacks a greencentral point. The holiday homes should be a little more, perhaps, modern Eco friendly style with some character, maybe log cabins!! Incorporating both permanent residents and tourists would help sustain the local businesses all year round and be less of an impact on commuters.

    Report this comment

    Phil

    Monday, September 15, 2014

  • This has been Northern trusts tactics before, buy, let it get run down and vandalised then housing looks the best option. Land allocated for the holiday industry not building land bought at a knock down price. If they did not want it for holidays they should not have bought it. If not for holidays let it remain as the nature reserve it has become. I would laugh my socks off if a rare butterfly was found to be breeding there!

    Report this comment

    Tony

    Friday, September 12, 2014

  • Maybe not many of the villager had to put up with the guests the the camp was handed over to whilst in it last 10 years or so. For some it was pure hell. Anything was acceptable and complaints fell on deaf ears. I feel that it's well past time for admitting the holidaytrade is finished at the scale of Pontins. Even Yarmouth can't make a go of it with most attraction seeming to be open just 6 week if that. Better to concentrate on improving the smaller remaining area. We have another opportunity here to improve the village and rid it of what I believe is a sleezy carbuncle for good.

    Report this comment

    David

    Friday, September 12, 2014

  • Of course the massive great elephant in the room is why those who want to live in affordable housing are not buying houses and living in Great Yarmouth town the way they used to do.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Friday, September 12, 2014

  • Of course the massive great elephant in the room is why those who want to live in affordable housing are not buying houses and living in Great Yarmouth town the way they used to do.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Friday, September 12, 2014

  • No DT your argument is not sound There is no reason not to demand the clearance of this site and a return to farmland. This and the 180 proposed dwellings near the Grange will add a potential 430 extra cars to the congestion trying to get to work every morning- and where is most of the work? On the other side of the river. Is a Bure Bridge proposed-no. Are the traffic problems solved-no. Is the Yarmouth to Hemsby road in a fit state to cope with extra traffic?No. Is there anything in Hemsby to serve all these residents? No-just a school rapidly becoming overwhelmed, and a partner surgery which already takes patients from other villages on some days a week , There is nothing but a beach and a dormitory and a couple of little shops-although I credit Hemsby with the drive toget itself a village hall. The same applies to Caister, massive overwhelming development forced through by bully boy developers, promises of facilities not kept, no help from GYBC planners to turn a village the size of a small town into somewhere that locals can see and use as a community. Who is going to live in these houses? Where are they going to work to afford them or will they all be occupied by housing association tenants from London or retirees? The argument about housing helping a village only holds water if the facilities and businesses and recreational resources match. The northern villages are now prey for GYBC and the developers and will be despoiled like Bradwell and Belton with none of the advantages of being close to the industrial and retail parks.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Friday, September 12, 2014

  • Why can't it be both? Obviously a holiday camp of that size isn't going to be profitable, but why not keep half designated as a holiday park with some decent but affordable accommodation, then put houses on the rest. Hemsby definitely still has a place as a holiday destination and has plenty of potential to improve...it just no longer warrants a place of that scale..

    Report this comment

    Alan Watling

    Friday, September 12, 2014

  • Persimmon again. These are the same ones who want to build all those houses from Bradwell to the Becon Park. Their greed knows no bounds.

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Friday, September 12, 2014

  • If that many houses are going to be built, then something needs to be done to that lousy road into Hemsby.

    Report this comment

    John L Norton

    Friday, September 12, 2014

  • As the Parish Council Chairman says - the people of Hemsby need to wake up and smell the coffee. This includes councillor Weymouth - who is deluded if she thinks that the site is going to ever be used for tourism purposes. The last few years have shown that just isn't going to happen. Pontins pulled out of Hemsby for a reason - it obviously wasn't profitable enough. Some English seaside resorts are doing ok, but Hemsby's heyday has gone and it isn't coming back. The place is a dump. Granted the beach is decent enough, but even that's fast disappearing - just like the tourists. If I was a local business - whether tourism focussed, or a café or pub, I'd be crying out for this housing to be build. That's a minimum 250 new occupants bringing life back to that part of Hemsby - particularly off-season. Reject this proposal and that site will sit desolate and rotting for more years to come. Perhaps that will make the nimbys happy.

    Report this comment

    DT

    Friday, September 12, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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