Out with the old! The changing face of Gorleston's prestigious Marine Parade
- Credit: Fine and Country and Google Maps
A trend to knock down period sea-view homes and replace them with modern, glazed structures in Gorleston is drawing concerns.
Are the sleek new homes going up along Marine Parade desirable modern havens or monstrosities that are set to create "a millionaires' row" devoid of character?
And whatever your view, is there anything you can do about it?
Critics have been quick to oppose the death of multiple properties along the prime stretch where the average house price is over £560,000, while planning officers have generally welcomed the new-style homes as another evolution in style.
In the last year the borough council has approved a string of requests to rebuild, amid a chorus of disapproval.
Carl Annison, chairman of the development control committee, said work was going on behind the scenes to look at the issue.
He said: “Anyone can submit a planning application and Great Yarmouth Borough Council is obliged to make a decision on all those submitted.
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"All applications must be in line with the council’s adopted policies, unless material planning considerations suggest otherwise.
"The planning department will encourage the applicant to amend schemes to make them acceptable if necessary.
"If proposals are not suitable, for any number of reasons, these can be refused.
“Gorleston seafront is a significant and architectural asset to the residents and visitors of the borough, which is why the council is currently preparing a masterplan to identify opportunities to protect and enhance what is special about the location.
"Related to this, is a review of the Conservation Area appraisal which will identify key sensitives which will be material considerations in the determination of planning applications.
"All of this work will strengthen our position when determining applications.
“We recognise all concerns raised in relation to planning applications and feedback is welcome.”
The stretch has seen many changes in the last 25 years starting with the demolition of the Links Hotel in 1998 to make way for five houses.
Demolition bids that have been approved along the stretch include Struan House or the Art Deco House at number 69, famous for its numerous colour changes, its pink phase seeing it known locally as the Miami House.
A bid to knock it down and build two homes was approved in 2008 following a failed application for seven apartments and then six. It was demolished in 2007 amid an outcry.
More recently the so-called Mint Mansion at number 60 was given the green light to be torn down and replaced with two modern-style homes critics said looked like temporary office buildings.
Planners however said the new houses would improve the "bland" Buxton Avenue side and could contribute to the "distinctiveness" of the seafront.
Other addresses where demolition has been granted include at number 14. Planners said the proposed new home represented "a major change of appearance but good design" giving permission in August 2016. There were no objections.
In February 2021 approval was granted for the demolition of number 45. Objectors said it was "slab-sided" and "over-large". One person said the proposed new house had "no sense of place", another said it would enhance the new modern Marine Parade.
A bid to demolish number 70 and replace it with two homes was allowed on appeal in September 2018. Residents and council had opposed the two new homes. The government planning inspector ruled they would reflect variety along Marine Parade and not harm its character. There was no objection to the contemporary design.
In April this year a new plan was given the go-ahead for a single house.
Developers were given permission to sweep away The Links at number 50 and replace it with two homes in 2017. Then in November 2020 another bid was given the green light for a single new home with a pool. Conservationists said they had concerns about "scale and massing" and neighbours were worried about noise from the pool.
A bid to knock down 2 Gournay Crescent, facing Marine Parade, is in the hands of planners. One objector said planners were "razing" Marine Parade and that they feared for numbers 17 and 63 (Ocean Mist). A decision has yet to be made.