'With you in spirit' - Griff Rhys Jones on fight against holiday lodges

Griff Rhys Jones has signalled his solidarity with those opposed to expansion plans at Browston Hall Norfolk

Actor Griff Rhys Jones says he is sympathetic to the aims of campaigners trying to fight off expansion plans at Browston Hall in Norfolk, near Great Yarmouth, which includes 80 holiday lodges and ten pin bowling. - Credit: James Bass/Charlotte Bond

People lining up against plans to create a new holiday park in a tiny Norfolk hamlet have been heartened by the support of actor Griff Rhys Jones.

Browston Hall, at Browston Green, near Gorleston, wants to transform its golf and leisure club into a countryside holiday haven with 80 holiday lodges.

Browston Hall.
Carvery Restaurant and Bar.
Golf and Country Club.
Picture: James Bass

Browston Hall has submitted plans with Great Yarmouth Borough Council which could see 80 luxury lodges, new indoor entertainment and spa facilities built. - Credit: James Bass

It says the business is unviable - the impact of Covid adding to its woes - and that changes are needed to get it back on its feet.

The community and parish council have already been consulted as part of the bid with more than 80 homes sent leaflets and a public meeting held on December 10 drawing a range of concerns.

People gathered in the sport centre for the Browston Hall meeting

People gathered in the sport centre for the Browston Hall meeting - Credit: Anthony Carroll

Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis is among those pushing back against the scheme saying local residents have made "strong and valid" objections.

Jean Samuels, who was born in Browston but now lives in Belton, wrote to Griff Rhys Jones who is president of the Victorian Society outlining her concerns.

Jean Samuels with her letter from Griff Rhys Jones about Browston Hall

Jean Samuels with her letter of support from Griff Rhys Jones who has been active in supporting planning battles closer to his home in Suffolk. - Credit: supplied by Jean Samuels

She said the holiday plan was a threat to the peaceful hamlet and reached out to the actor, who lives in Suffolk and had supported other protests.

In his response he said Browston was "a little far north" for him to be directly involved but said he was with campaigners "in spirit" and gave advice on how best to fight the scheme.

Griff Rhys Jones at EAst Anglia's Children Hospice Treehouse in Ipswich PICTURE: CHARLOTTE BOND

Griff Rhys Jones has said no more caravan parks are needed in 'beautiful country' after being contacted by Jean Samuels asking for his support fighting development plans at Browston Hall. - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

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The letter said that while "making noise" about developments was important he didn't think his individual voice would make much difference.

In Felixstowe where he and community had fought a bid to remove beach huts, their railings had had no effect on the council vote.

Griff Rhys Jones responds to concerns over Browston Hall development proposals

The letter from Griff Rhys Jones adding his voice to the debate about the future of Browston Hall which wants to add 80 holiday lodges to its grounds as well as spa and leisure facilities. - Credit: Jean Samuels

Similarly, despite garnering front page coverage against a "hugely insensitive" development in Woodbridge it all fell on deaf ears.

A presentation on the Browston Hall plans was shown 

A presentation on the Browston Hall plans was shown - Credit: Anthony Carroll

However, he said he hoped that law and policy would be on their side, and that the best way to have their say would be at the ballot box.

The Woodland Trust, Norfolk Wildlife Trust and the countryside charity CPRE Norfolk have signalled their opposition.

One of the presentation slides about the proposed changes to Browston Hall shown at the meeting

One of the presentation slides about the proposed changes to Browston Hall shown at the meeting - Credit: Anthony Carroll

Hundreds of people have also put their name to a petition.

Papers in support of the scheme say it is a sustainable, designed to a  high standard, and sympathetic to its surroundings.

The bid is being dealt with as two applications, one for the eastern and one for the southern side.