Seaside fun park faces opposition over rides and 'prison-style' fencing

Pops Meadow Gorleston

A child enjoys a bounce on a bungee trampoline at Gorleston's Pop's Meadow, the 'prison-style' fence that is drawing concerns is visible in the background. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

The scale and appearance of a seaside funfair is drawing opposition from neighbours.

Pop's Meadow in Gorleston hosts a raft of rides and has been hailed as "good for the area", but the changes have triggered mainly negative responses from people living nearby.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is set to consider a retrospective planning application for the remodelled attraction, with objections focused on an 8ft fence and the number of mechanical rides.

Pops Meadow play area, Pavilion Road, Gorleston. Photo: Nick Butcher

Flashback: Pop's Meadow as it used to be before the new operators brought in rides. - Credit: Archant

Near neighbours say the area has a special character which is being spoiled by the new attraction.

Mechanical rides "overlook and overpower" properties, affecting privacy, one objector states.

One landlord said tenants in Marine Terrace were signalling their intention to leave due to the "unsympathetic" attraction and rides close to front rooms.

A householder in Cliff Hill said: "I am sure I am not alone in thinking that the scale of the proposed funfair and the way in which it has been quickly put together without any thoughts or proper discussion with planning authorities is completely unsuitable."

Another added: "The current 8ft high fence is normally used on commercial premises, military bases or prisons and is totally out of keeping .

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"Please do not allow this business to spoil this beautiful area or turn the site into another Pleasure Beach."

Pops Meadow Gorleston

Fairground rides have reappeared at Pops Meadow in Gorleston. - Credit: Daniel Hickey

The borough council conservation officer tagged the fence as "hostile."

She said:  "We would probably be looking for something more welcoming, subtle and transparent, so the hostile appearance of the existing is avoided and the green area is perceived as part of the surrounding environment rather than a segregated plot."

Several neighbours said they were bewildered as to how the fence and some hard standing had been allowed in a conservation area when strict guidelines to do with the designation meant they could not do the same.

Some said they understood the need for improved attractions, but that regulation was needed.

Papers presented to the authority's development control committee meeting say the area has been a children's fun park since the early 20th century, once hosting a crazy golf course and more recently a low-key play park.

The council sold the land in January 2021 and new operators have brought in fairground rides.

The retrospective application had arisen due to complaints from residents. Planning officers are suggesting a temporary permission for two years to assess the impact of the "intensified and materially different use."

The council meeting at 6pm on Wednesday (September 15) is broadcast via its YouTube channel.