New ideas for use of Hemsby Pontins

A SUPERMARKET, leisure complex, and housing, were just some of the ideas put forward by Hemsby residents for the future use of the former Pontins site.

A SUPERMARKET, leisure complex, and housing, were just some of the ideas put forward by Hemsby residents for the future use of the former Pontins site.

About 200 residents out of a possible 1,200 canvassed, commented on the future of the former holiday site owned by Northern Trust. The traditional seaside camp closed it doors in January with the loss of 55 jobs but its potential future use in the leisure industry has not been ruled out.

Paul Boyfield, a spokesman for Northern Trust, said: “We had a pretty good response for the initial part of the consultation. A proportion of people have said they would like to see it kept as leisure industry use although a lot of people said they were against this because the land is on the edge of the holiday area site.”

Residents had suggested a different type of leisure use for land, for example keeping the existing swimming pool open for public use. A supermarket was another idea put forward.


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Mr Boyfield said: “It was suggested that people are not spending money in Hemsby and instead they are travelling to a supermarket at Caister.”

Residents appeared divided on housing with some saying the area was in need of more homes, while others believed the site should be kept in use as a holiday area.

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Mr Boyfield said the chance of the site staying in holiday use was “still very much on the table”, although Northern Trust had not been approached by any operators.

The consultation process includes a public exhibition which will take place in about four weeks' time with the main suggestions of responses from residents on display.

Earlier this year, Yarmouth Borough Council said it was keen to keep the site in holiday use.

The site was purchased by Sir Fred Pontin in 1971 who soon opened a �1m holiday village which housed 500 guests in self catering chalets on the 80 acre site. Many families would say the 1970s was the heyday for the camp as thousands of people were entertained by Bluecoats and enjoyed regular heatwaves.

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