First round won in housing battle

Miles Jermy PROTESTS paid off this week after a controversial plan for a housing development in an historic part of Gorleston was withdrawn.Objectors launched a determined campaign to prevent three new homes being built on the small Riverside Road site, opposite Darby's Hard.

Miles Jermy

PROTESTS paid off this week after a controversial plan for a housing development in an historic part of Gorleston was withdrawn.

Objectors launched a determined campaign to prevent three new homes being built on the small Riverside Road site, opposite Darby's Hard. Nearby residents claimed the bungalow and two semi-detached houses would block sweeping views over the River Yare and destroy their privacy.

The planning application, by a Leicestershire based company Parade Court, had been lodged last month with Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Steve Grimmer's 17th century home in the High Street sits above the site, which once formed a rear garden to the property.

He said: “I am relieved we can still enjoy our view over the river, without fear of a massive brick wall going up in front of us.

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“This is something very special that would have been destroyed, at the moment we have a panoramic and unbroken view right across and along the river. The bungalow would have higher than my rear wall and the houses obliterated the vista.

“The access was on to a five metre wide road and the vehicles coming out could have forced cars into the river. I have access across the site onto Riverside Road that would have been re-routed if the homes were built.

Furniture maker Mr Grimmer, 54, has lived in the house for 13 years, which was once a pub known as the Rising Sun. He runs his business Herringport Furniture from home and has a workshop on Riverside Road.

“There is a serious risk of flooding along Riverside Road, which makes it totally unsuitable for a residential development,” he added. The slipway opposite the site would also be used for parking, the developers claim it is redundant but it is still used by speed boats, jet skies and canoeists.

“The plan stated the houses were going up in front of a workshop, when in fact it is a flat and summer house.”

The pair of three storey houses would have been built directly in front of a studio flat owned by Mr Grimmer's neighbour Dawn Perry.

She said: “The building would have been just a few feet away and risen up above my roof terrace. The view is exceptional and was what made me buy the house - the only source of light is one window that would have been totally obstructed by a brick wall.

“I purchased the flat derelict and have spent around £30,000 turning it into my dream home. I never imagined anyone would try and build on that site.”

Local historian Dennis Durrant said the site was the only remaining undeveloped area on Gorleston riverside.

He added; “The houses would be crammed on to a small area making a mess of a lovely historic panorama in a planned conservation area,”

Planning agent Mike Keyworth told the Mercury that the application was withdrawn this week but he did not know if the owners were still seeking to build on the site.