'Appalling' - bid for flat-pack flats sparks anger on coast

Three sites across Great Yarmouth in line for quick-build affordable homes

36 modular homes could be built across Great Yarmouth and occupied in the next few months if planners give the green light. - Credit: Google Maps

Some 36 modular homes could be built and lived in within three months if planning consent is granted for new one-bedroom homes on the coast.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is looking at three sites across the borough where new homes could spring up in a fraction of the time it takes to build traditional dwellings.

Under the plans 18 homes are planned for Beach Coach Station in Great Yarmouth, another eight nearby at Great Northern Close, and ten facing Crab Lane in Gorleston.

All would be pre-fabricated, modular buildings that could be delivered and put up quickly to meet demand.

People living nearby the proposed developments, however, have criticised almost every aspect of the plans.

Crab Lane where new affordable homes are planned

A proposal to build on part of Crab Lane's 'green mile' has drawn angry responses from residents. Picture: Google. - Credit: Google Maps

Opposition has been the loudest in Crab Lane where an online consultation drew 105 responses, 97 of them worried about a range of issues.


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For many it was the loss of green space, already at a premium in the area, that concerned them most, one person making  a plea to save their "beloved green mile" a space for children to play and people to walk their dogs.

Generally the homes - set out in three, two storey-blocks - were variously tagged as "ridiculous", "a blot on the landscape", and "a concrete jungle."

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Sweeping away "the only piece of green" as well as the effect on traffic in busy Crab Lane were highlighted.

A separate application to build 18 modular homes also aimed at single people or childless couples, has also drawn criticism for they way it looks.

For this scheme three blocks, one in an H formation and two L-shaped units are planned at the southern end of Beach Coach Station.

Fifteen people responded to a consultation, eight of whom were in favour and seven against.

While the need for low cost housing was acknowledged some spoke out about the "appalling design" tagging it "anywhere architecture" that did not reflect the borough's distinctiveness or history or chime with what was already there.

One person commented: "This is anywhere architecture at its very worse. The lowest common denominator in design terms, lazy and shockingly poor. Good enough for Yarmouth."

Great Northern Close where new affordable homes are planned.

A car park in Great Northern Close is being earmarked for an inverted U-shaped block of affordable housing. They will be one-bedroom homes available to rent. Some residents have criticised the the look of the proposed buildings and the loss of car parking. - Credit: Google Maps

The third site at Great Northern Close, on a car park, would see eight new homes in an inverted U shape in blocks of two and three storeys.

Here residents bemoaned the loss of parking, although a council survey found most of the time less than half the spaces were occupied.

The design was also an issue for some.

Papers describe it as "bespoke" and a "contemporary interpretation of Great Yarmouth's residential design" with a "distinct character."

All three sites seeking the green light are said to be a response to an acute lack of one-bedroom housing, highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

If permission is granted the 36 homes could be built and occupied by March 2021. 

They will be available for low-cost rent.

The Shrublands Estate in Gorleston was once home to the biggest swathe of pre-fab housing in the country.

The modular building technique was employed 70 years ago to solve the housing crisis created by the Luftwaffe.

More than 700 bungalows were swiftly built, lasting more than 20 years.

A decision is due on the Great Northern Close modular housing plans by January 6, 2021.

Crab Lane and Beach Coach Station have a deadline of February 10, 2021.

To view the plans visit the borough council's planning portal here.

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