Bid to allow year-round holiday homes at former Pontins refused
- Credit: Archant
A bid to allow year-round occupation of holiday homes on the former Pontins site in Hemsby has been rejected.
Members of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's development control committee went against officer advice and refused the proposal to remove a planning condition which says they have to be empty for the last 17 days of January.
Graham Avery who is behind The Pines redevelopment scheme for 188 homes and 88 holiday units had put forward a raft of reasons why the restriction - part of planning permission granted in July 2021 - should no longer apply.
And officers in their report agreed the occupancy condition was unnecessary.
The report said the two week break had been introduced to allow for maintenance and also to allow the authority to control their use as holiday accommodation.
But they noted the units were built to a high standard which was "difficult to distinguish from a new-build home" and that the occupancy issue was covered by another condition stating they could not be used as permanent, unrestricted accommodation or as a primary place of residence.
Mr Avery told the committee that prospective purchasers of the lodges were being discouraged by the condition that the units be vacated for a period, including investment companies who have expressed an interest in buying some of the properties in order to let them out.
He added that the site’s leisure and retail facilities will remain open all year round, and that he would like to think his development had brought Hemsby “upmarket”.
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Hemsby Parish Council chairman Keith Kyriacou said other nearby sites had “no problem selling holiday lets”.
“If you grant this tonight, for twelve months of the year, all those other sites will come to you and say ‘we want planning permission for twelve months’,” said Mr Kyriacou.
“As a parish council, we strictly oppose this. We want it open for 11 months of the year, and if you can’t sell your holiday lodges, bring the prices down,” he added.
Councillors voted by majority to refuse the application, against the recommendation of officers.