Approval of holiday let despite fears coastal village already has too many

A few people enjoying the beach and dunes at Winterton-on-Sea in the summery weather as the lockdown

The proposal will see the arrival of a new two-storey holiday in Winterton-on-Sea - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

A plan to convert a telecoms storage unit into a holiday let will go ahead, despite concerns being raised that a Norfolk coastal village already has too many tourism properties.

The former utility building in Winterton-on-Sea, used to hold telecommunications and data equipment for Virgin Media, and will be transformed into a single two-storey dwelling, available to rent for holidays.

At a meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s development control committee, a planning officer said that because the site is located within Flood Zone 3, a normal residential dwelling would not be allowed, but “as this is a holiday let, the partial residential use there can be acceptable if the proposal includes the appropriate protection and evacuation measures.” 

Low Road in Winterton-on-Sea

Rebecca Durant said she and fellow were residents were concerned about the village losing the unique character of Low Road, pictured. - Credit: Google

Objecting, Winterton resident Rebecca Durant said: “We are concerned that we shall lose the unique character of Low Road - a restricted bridleway - and the integrity of the nearby protected sites in the dunes will be harmed. 

“The local plan states 13% of homes in Winterton are not occupied by residents, but [by] visitors, and is higher than usual across the borough - we are anxious about the negative impact this may be having in Winterton.”

The Virgin Media hub at Winterton

The former Virgin Media hub in Low Road, Winterton, is set to be remodelled as a two-storey holiday home under plans submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council. The building is in the centre of the image surrounded by vegetation. - Credit: Google Earth

She added that the conversion would do nothing to address the area’s “chronic shortage of affordable homes”.

Labour councillor and former Great Yarmouth MP Tony Wright said he sympathised with Ms Durant’s concerns: “I think there is this case about holiday homes overtaking an area, not actually contributing to the local economy much, because people only stay there during the peak summer months.”

Tony Wright speaking at the unveiling of a blue plaque to mark the 30th anniversary of Crimestoppers

Labour councillor and former Great Yarmouth MP Tony Wright - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2013

Most Read

“I’d much rather see this as being a development for affordable homes in the rural community, rather than holiday lets,” he summarised.

Conservative councillor Paul Hammond said: “It’s a lot better than what is there, it’s going to tidy the area up, and I move to approve it.” 

Councillor Trevor Wainwright, leader of the Labour group in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

Trevor Wainwright, who leads the Labour opposition group on Great Yarmouth Borough Council - Credit: Archant

Labour councillor Trevor Wainwright seconded Mr Hammond, saying: “Looking at it, in the photos, this will be used probably for 52 weeks a year. People come all year to places like Winterton to see the dunes. 

“I understand residents’ concerns, but this is one holiday let, not a dozen.”

The plan was approved with one councilor voting against and one abstention.