Hemsby Pontins: String of concerns raised as new images released

Former Pontins Hemsby

Derelict holiday chalets will be remodelled into homes under Pine Development's plans to create a mixed-use community. - Credit: Paul Robinson Partnership

The highways authority has raised 38 queries and issued a holding objection to a planned mixed development at the former Pontins holiday park site in Hemsby.

Norfolk County Council says the scale of the drawings submitted is "not acceptable" and raises a list of queries about the road layout serving the proposed 188 new homes and 91 holiday lodges alongside a leisure centre, pool, spa, and shops.

Pontins in Hemsby

One of the new images released to promote the proposed new development at the former Pontins holiday camp in Hemsby. - Credit: Paul Robinson Partnership

It takes issue with tight bends, a lack of traffic calming, a reliance on cul-de-sacs rather than loop roads,  and parking.

Overall it says the internal road layout is "not acceptable" with the design failing to offer another access road in the event of an emergency and, in places, leaving drivers to reverse long distances.

A spokesman for the developers said while the highways' response was detailed he was happy the issues could all be resolved, adding: "This is a major application and scrutiny is to be expected and quite the right thing."

The comments are among a number of consultation responses raising red flags.

Pontins at Hemsby

The vandal magnet chalets at Pontins, in Hemsby, alongside an image of what they would look like under plans to repurpose them. - Credit: Paul Robinson Partnership

Natural England has pointed to a lack of dog walking space on an estate likely to be home to 56 pet pooches, under a 30pc national average.

Norfolk Police has also made suggestions about how the layout could be improved.

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Meanwhile, the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership said there was no capacity in the acute or intermediate health services to accommodate the extra residents - possibly as many as 316 people - saying a contribution of £324,599 would be needed to mitigate the impact.

And while primary school places would be put under pressure by the new homes, which will generate an estimated 93 children, there would be capacity in Ormesby, so no developer contribution was being asked for.

Pontins at Hemsby

A new image released January 2021 showing part of the proposed new development at Pontins in Hemsby. - Credit: Paul Robinson Partnership

Hemsby Parish Council has said it supports the bid, as long as a string of conditions are met including limited occupancy for the  holiday lets, the provision of affordable homes, and larger play areas,

A Norfolk County Council officer also said there were flood risk concerns.

One member of the public writing in to express their concerns called for "balance" and "to get some jobs in the mix."

The response said: "The reality is that Hemsby is not a nice holiday village anymore.

"In fact it's rather tacky.

"What Hemsby needs is some balance, it needs some industrial units, some commercial units, some business units, some training units, maybe some parking and one of those goofy trains taking people to the beach.

Fire-fighters damping down after a large fire at the old Pontins holiday park in Hemsby. Picture: Ja

Fire-fighters damping down after a large fire at the old Pontins holiday park in Hemsby. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

"Another housing estate where people are charged service charges by some management company is  not the way to go."

Outline planning permission was granted to Northern Trust in February 2020 for a mixed use redevelopment of the site, five years after it was asked for.

It allows for the complete demolition and clearance of the site, construction of an entirely new development of 190 homes, some shops, and five acres for around static caravans.

The new bid for full planning was submitted by Pine Developments in September 2020.

Pontins Hemsby masterplan

The proposed masterplan for Pontins. A consultation is underway with the Highways Authority's detailed response raising concerns. - Credit: Paul Robinson Partnership

Under the plans some of the existing chalet blocks will be remodelled to form homes and holiday chalets, as well as seeing new lodges springing up on the 22 acre site, and a community leisure complex.

Pontins shut suddenly in December 2008.

The 22 acre site consisted of four single storey chalet blocks and 44 two storey chalet blocks – a total of 512 individual chalets.

It could accommodate 2,440 people at peak capacity.

Pontins in Hemsby through the years. Photo: Archant Library

Pontins in Hemsby through the years. Photo: Archant Library - Credit: Archant Library

The scheme has yet to come before the development control committee.

To view the plans and consultation documents as well as to have  your say click the link here.