Six ways Yarmouth wants to solve its housing crisis and 'compete with Norwich'

View of Marine Parade in Great Yarmouth.
July 2013.
Picture: James Bass

Yarmouth's Golden Mile is a huge tourist draw but behind the seafront the problem of poor quality housing is stopping the area from achieving its potential with low prices putting off investors. - Credit: James Bass

It was famously once ranked as the fifth most prosperous town in the country.

Now Great Yarmouth is the 25th most deprived out of 354 local authorities, with some of its wards in the bottom 10pc.

Life-expectancy, employment, and education all score poorly, with housing a major part of the problem.

The one bedroom ground floor flat on Britannia Road, Great Yarmouth, will be going under them hammer in May.

A one-bedroom flat in Britannia Road was sold at auction for £48,000, the lowest price achieved in a 32-lot sale in May 2022. - Credit: Auction House East Anglia

According to a report there are too many poor quality homes that are either empty, run-down, or let as houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) blighting urban areas and locking the door on growth.

Generally, their poor condition reflected badly on the town and meant any high-earners would likely commute from places like Norwich creating a vicious circle of decline.

The low price of homes and land also put off developers and meant planning permissions were not always taken forward.

The report adds it recognised the "critical importance" of the housing market to the town and puts forward six "opportunities" to tackle the crisis.

They are:

• The purchase and repair/conversion of 80 redundant or vacant guest houses into new homes (£29m)

Most Read

• The redevelopment of The Conge creating 89 new homes (£12.9m)

• The redevelopment of Beach Coach Station to create 50 to 80 new homes (£10.9m)

• The acquisition of 60 empty homes bringing them back into use (£23.5m)

• Repurposing empty retail units £23.8)

• Regeneration of the Middlegate Estate (£83.6)

Without action things will only get worse the report says stating the borough council's aim that by 2030 Great Yarmouth becomes a place of choice for people to live.

Under the vision Yarmouth will sustain a commuter market and compete with Norwich for quality of life.

"Renewal of the housing stock creates an environment in which people choose to visit, stay, spend and invest, driving town centre regeneration and life chances for all," it says.

In the meantime there are "challenges" to the local housing market made worse by the pandemic.

The council hopes the report shaping a Great Yarmouth Housing Deal will help lever funding.

Providing better homes will lift house and land prices, boost tourism and the offshore energy sector, and bring in younger people, reversing the ageing population in a town where the average age is 45.3, nearly six years older than the rest of the country.

Funding options are being explored with Homes England.

The council's housing and neighbourhood committee will discuss the document on Thursday at 6.30pm.