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Gorleston's Ferryside has a mystery buyer

PUBLISHED: 16:33 27 June 2013 | UPDATED: 16:33 27 June 2013

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

Picture: James Bass

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

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

Gorleston's Ferryside has been sold to a mystery buyer whose intentions for the former register officer remain undisclosed while the transaction is wrapped up.

NPS Property Consultants, part of the Norse Group, which is owned by Norfolk County Council said they expected the deal to be finalised by the end of next month.

It had been looking for offers in excess of £250,000.

Agency manager Melvyn Stone said the purchaser had asked for his identity to remain confidential “for personal reasons” and that he was not yet able to say what the future held for the 1.1 acre site, built as a grand home in the 1870s.

However a series of recently applied tree preservation orders limited the development capacity and he understood the borough council were keen to retain the unlisted, landmark building.

The sale followed a series of open days for potential buyers to have a look round and make a sensible offer.

An “unexpected” level of interest saw the building prove as popular as anything even in Norwich’s desirable golden triangle.

He said: “The property has been sold subject to contract. The purchaser has asked us to keep the information confidential for personal reasons. There should not be any cause for anyone to read anything in to that, we would not want to undermine his acquisition.

“It is a great building with lots of potential to be returned to residential or for development.”

Mr Stone said he was unable to reveal the selling price, while the sale was still under contract, for fear of risking the sale.

He added: “The level of interest was higher than we expected with a high proportion of serious bidders. Upstairs there are some nice views of the river and out to sea.”

Dean Minns, senior planner at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said the building, although not listed was cherished locally. Ideally he said, anyone taking it on would look to retain the house, but every application had to be taken on its merit. The council had not received any applications so far.

“It’s a good sized site, in a good area,” he added.

As a register office local people marked their milestones their for more than 50 years. In that time it hosted around 20,000 weddings but became a victim of budget pressures in 2011 when it was closed and its services moved to Great Yarmouth’s upgraded library.

The house and associated out-buildings went on the market in March. Offers were likely to be on condition of gaining planning consent.

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