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Call to save Gorleston lifeguard hut

PUBLISHED: 17:29 30 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 03 July 2010

CRIES of protest have met plans to convert an old lifeguard hut on a popular seafront into a food and drinks stall.

The application is currently being considered by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and would also convert a shelter next to the hut into a seating area for customers.

CRIES of protest have met plans to convert an old lifeguard hut on a popular seafront into a food and drinks stall.

The application is currently being considered by Great Yarmouth Borough Council and would also convert a shelter next to the hut into a seating area for customers.

Included in the plans are a pitched roof for the hut and a canopy over both buildings with pink and neon lighting.

Looking out over the ocean and situated on a walkway popular with dog walkers, the site is just a few feet away from the beach itself.

Though abandoned by lifeguards in favour of a newer lookout, in recent years it has served in the summer months as a first aid post and a police outpost for the area.

Among those concerned is Marcelle Swann, who owns Marina Bay Café, located on the row of outlets close behind the potential site, and two nearby arcades. She said: “We've received letters against it from people. I'm not against new development in the area but it has to be the right sort, and it should be offering something different that we haven't yet got, like seafood.

“The shelter should really be for the public- at the moment people can just sit there and take in the view.”

Among other concerns raised about the application, which is open for public response until Tuesday January 5, have been worries about litter and the loss of wheelchair-friendly public seating that would result in converting the shelter.

However, 34-year-old Giles Evans, who often walks along the beachfront, disagrees. He said: “I think that anything which might help boost the economy and promote employment would be good.

“I'm not sure about neon, but if there's a demand for it then it's going to survive, and if not, it won't, so the others won't have anything to worry about.”

The applicant, Mr Formosa, declined to comment.

A decision should be taken at the next planning committee meeting on Tuesday, January 19.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Write to Letters at anne.edwards@archant.co.uk

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