Developer set to alter his plans

Liz Coates The developer behind a controversial flats' plan in Gorleston says he has “lost his appetite” for the cliff-top scheme and is bowing to public pressure with a new plan for two detached homes.

Liz Coates

The developer behind a controversial flats' plan in Gorleston says he has “lost his appetite” for the cliff-top scheme and is bowing to public pressure with a new plan for two detached homes.

Philip Oldman of Lowestoft-based Oldham Homes ran into a wave of opposition with his “wow factor” flats which would sweep away a striking Art Deco-designed home that had fallen into a sorry state of disrepair.

But neither the neighbours nor the planning inspector who dealt with application on appeal were ready for his proposal for apartments with a nautical feel.


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Aimed at the “active elderly” the design incorporated many features connected to the sea including a wave-like roof and ocean liner-style railings, but triggered worries about it setting an unwelcome trend in redeveloping family homes.

This week Mr Oldman said: “I could still go down the apartment route and I could still get over the objections because one of the planning inspector's main objections was parking at the back, and I could get over that by putting parking underneath. But I have lost the appetite for it.

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“But I say 'nothing ventured, nothing gained'. I am quite pragmatic about it. I don't take it to heart.”

The latest application is for two detached four-bedroom homes with some traditional and modern features, including glass frontages offering stunning sea views.

Mr Oldman said the properties looked “special” but were sufficiently in keeping with other homes along prestigious Marine Parade, adding: “Hopefully the architects we have used have got the right mix of traditional and modern. Part of the council asked me to do something very traditional but some of the officers wanted something more flamboyant.”

Oldman Homes has a string of successful builds under its belt including some of the detached homes where the Links Hotel used to be and the key-worker flats at Shipley's vets, Haven Bridge. “I thought that would have kick-started Cobholm,” he said. “There is a wonderful opportunity for people to follow down that river line.”

Despite some enthusiasm for saving it the Art Deco house was demolished last year. Mr Oldman said it had become a magnet for vandals and had to be taken down for safety reasons.

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