A bid to convert a guesthouse that was being used 'unlawfully' into flats has been refused.

The proposal was to transform Shemara Guest House on Wellesley Road in Great Yarmouth into three maisonettes.

Planners at Great Yarmouth Borough Council rejected the application over concerns about overdevelopment.

They also said the creation of three maisonettes would result in "a cramped and unacceptable living environment which would be detrimental to the living conditions of future occupiers".

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The guesthouse is a two-storey building with a basement.

When planners visited the site, they discovered the property was "vacant and in poor condition, unwelcoming to visitors". 

"The guest house was not currently operational. The property had been used unlawfully as an HMO to provide accommodation to seasonal agricultural workers," they said.

"This came to the attention of environmental health and this use subsequently ceased."

There were two objections to the plans.

One raised concerns about the previous unauthorised use of the property as a HMO, as well as the potential impacts of noise and the use of an external staircase.

Councillor James Dwyer-McCluskey, who represents Central and Northgate ward at the borough council, objected over concerns about "oppressive living conditions", as well as flooding and general amenity issues.

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A previous application to convert from guest house to four self-contained one-bedroom flats was refused in February.

According to a document supporting the application, the property was purchased by a company called CM Agriculture in 2021.

It said that although trade had largely died out under the previous ownership, the new owner intended to continue the guest house usage, mainly providing temporary accommodation for seasonal agricultural and other workers.

In 2022, after the borough council's environmental health department raised concern they felt the property was being used as an HMO, CM Agriculture closed down the guesthouse as "otherwise unviable".