Ferryside demolition gets the go-ahead

The former registry office for Great Yarmouth and Gorleston.Ferryside, High Road, Gorleston.Picture:

The former registry office for Great Yarmouth and Gorleston.Ferryside, High Road, Gorleston.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

The fate of Ferryside was finally sealed this week when its demolition won planning permission.

FIRST OCCUPANT: Edward Combe, the wealthy businessman who built Ferryside as his family home in the

FIRST OCCUPANT: Edward Combe, the wealthy businessman who built Ferryside as his family home in the 1870s. Picture: SUPPLIED - Credit: Archant

More than a century after the house was built the way is now clear to tear down the historic building, held in high local affection.

Officials at Great Yarmouth Borough Council said there was little to stand in the way of the application because the building was not listed or in a conservation area.

As the council was satisfied with how the contractors planned to carry out the clearance and keep the site tidy the application was automatically passed, 28 days after it was submitted, on Monday.

Heritage buffs and near neighbours were shocked when the bid to knock it down became public, sparking a local outcry.

The building is not only a striking house but also the borough’s former register office, dubbed the borough’s Somerset House.

Margaret Ward, chairman of Start (St Andrew’s Riverside Triangle) earlier described its being earmarked for the axe as “just awful.”

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Dean Minns, senior planner, said the borough council had visited the site and taken a set of interior and exterior photos for its files.

The pictures will add to a wealth of research and information collected by long-serving former Registrar Trevor Nicholls who took a special interest in the building and its history.

Mr Nicholls, 66, retired in 2008 after 43 years at the riverside hub - but not before he had collected hundreds of photographs and dozens of documents which he passed to the Norfolk Records Office last year.

He said he expected the bulldozers to roll in at the site at some point after Norfolk County Council moved the register services to the town’s central library, making the building redundant.

“If Ferryside had stood in open country it would have been snapped up as an old Victorian vicarage would have been. But there in High Road a big house like that is no longer needed. When Edward Combe built the house he demolished a very fine Georgian building to erect the home. Why he did this was always a puzzle to me.

“Every generation delights in undoing what has gone before.”

The application to level the building and others on the site was submitted by Norwich-based Y Construction.

Panos Christophi of the Cliff Hotel is not involved in the future demolition and development of Ferryside, as stated in The Mercury on Friday December 26.