'It would be a shame if it got too commercial' - council bid for seaside kiosks and outdoor seating draws concerns
PUBLISHED: 16:03 06 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 14 March 2019
Lauren De Boise
A council looking to add seaside kiosks and outdoor seating could run into opposition from nearby traders already selling food and beach gifts to trippers.
The lower esplanade at Gorleston overlooking the yacht pond and splash pad looks set to see commercial activity for the first time under new plans for concessions.
Plans being put forward by Great Yarmouth Borough Council show a trio of units on the lower prom and two kiosks down below on the same level as the splash pad, which opened last year.
Papers published on the borough council’s website today (March 6) say they are looking for three units with outdoor seating and two huts.
It says the aim is to service the splash pad/yacht pond area with a view to offer “something different.”
Many people, the report adds, had approached the council since the splash pad had been installed offering a variety of cuisines which would “complement the area rather than be an extension or saturation of existing uses.”
MORE: Gorleston food and drink kiosk plan re-heated
The council would be “mindful of the appearance” of the units.
The three concessions would specifically offer facilities that are not available already, as the council seized the “commercial opportunity” offered by the splash pad.
As part of the application there is also a beach concession available for activities, other than inflatables.
It says there would be no adverse affect on other esplanade users.
The move comes after residents fought off a council bid to introduce parking in the area, popular with children on bikes and scooters.
A spokesman for the Dimascio ice-cream shop which has been trading in Gorleston for decades said businesses would be worried about the plans.
He said part of Gorleston’s appeal was the lack of commercial activity and questioned what other kinds of uses could be added that were not already catered for.
Shops, amusements, gifts, and food were already on offer from multiple outlets and times were hard he said, adding: “It is getting harder and harder to make a living. It would be a shame, not just from a business point of view, if it got too commercial.”
Another trader said it made more sense to have had the kiosks up the other end where the new beach huts are going, rather than a stone’s throw away from the parade of shops.
In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: “As part of the council’s business property portfolio, a planning application has been submitted for three concessions near to Gorleston’s splash pad, together with a change of use for the existing beach concessions. The new concessions would offer facilities that are not currently available locally.”