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Great Yarmouth’s fire hit Regent Road sees fresh bid for homes and retail units submitted

PUBLISHED: 17:05 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 20 July 2017

The new plans submitted by Phil Thompson for the Regent Road/Albion Road. Picture: Richard Pike Associates

The new plans submitted by Phil Thompson for the Regent Road/Albion Road. Picture: Richard Pike Associates

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The owner of land that was ravaged by a massive fire in Great Yarmouth has re-submitted plans to breathe fresh life into the area.

The new plans submitted by Phil Thompson for the Regent Road/Albion Road. Picture: Richard Pike Associates The new plans submitted by Phil Thompson for the Regent Road/Albion Road. Picture: Richard Pike Associates

Owner of the former Regent Road market site, Phil Thompson, has drawn up new plans after pulling a previous planning bid for the site, which was devastated by a fire on August 5 last year.

The fire in Yarmouth’s main thoroughfare to the seafront saw a huge blaze engulf the Regent Bowl and Indoor Market.

Mr Thompson’s new plans include 23 homes, 10 retail units and a large unit for leisure use and are a scaled down version of a previous blueprint by Mr Thompson for the site.

His first application had 49 homes, a new indoor market, public toilets, a café and a leisure complex.

The aftermath of a major fire which has destroyed the Regent Road superbowl and indoor market in the centre of Great Yarmouth.
The view from the fire service crane.

Picture: James Bass

The aftermath of a major fire which has destroyed the Regent Road superbowl and indoor market in the centre of Great Yarmouth. The view from the fire service crane. Picture: James Bass

He has re-drawn the plans due to a lack of interest from parties in the homes and the leisure complex, the company that ran the bowling alley said it would not be returning and concerns over the impact of the homes and issues with car parking.

The new plans, if approved by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, would see 10 retail units facing Regent Road with an additional large unit for leisure use.

Above these units would be eight one and two-bedroom apartments with an entrance either end by stairwells facing Regent Road.

Albion Road would have 15 three-bedroom town houses created as a mews with each having its own garden and adjacent parking space.

The previous plans. Picture: Richard Pike Associates The previous plans. Picture: Richard Pike Associates

Mr Thompson said: “The way the site has been planned it would create extra daylight to Albion Road and Regent Road as there are large open expanses, and the buildings are not as high as the original buildings which were on this site prior to the fire.

“We would be making the adjoining passage from Albion Road through to Regent Road wider, as this is a main link from St Georges park through to Regent Road.

“This would create a more pleasurable experience for pedestrians, and hopefully make it less of a fly tipping zone.

“We are very proud to be able to offer this scheme and all it offers to the local economy, and to Albion and Regent Road.”

A council spokesman said: “The council has provided advice and guidance in relation to planning policy. We look forward to receiving the submission of the revised application.”

Site owner Phil Thompson said there were several reasons for the change of plans.

The original plan was to create retail units fronting Regent Road with 49 apartments on three floors above an indoor market, and to make this succeed it required an end user for the residential units.

He had approached several parties who had shown interest, but for various reasons was unable to secure an end user.

Mr Thompson also tried to entice cinema companies, along with other large leisure firms, and he said he received no interest whatsoever.

There were several comments from traders on Regent Road along with residents on Albion Road who were concerned about height and the loss of sunlight and daylight.

He also recognised that original parking plans would be an issue. The company that ran the bowling alley had also surrendered their lease and said they would not return.

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