Plans unveiled for Hemsby Pontins

THE former Pontins site at Hemsby could become a housing estate, and house a care home, pub and play area if plans unveiled by site owner the Northern Trust are given the go-ahead.

THE former Pontins site at Hemsby could become a housing estate, and house a care home, pub and play area if plans unveiled by site owner the Northern Trust are given the go-ahead.

Villagers were invited to an exhibition at the former holiday park in Beach Road to give their opinions on the development plans based on the results of a consultation in which residents were asked for their views.

The plan proposes to provide between 150 and 200 houses, a 40-bed care home and a new village library on the 80 acre site, though a planning application is yet to be submitted for the scheme.

But many of the 60 visitors to the exhibition were concerned, fearing Hemsby would not have the infrastructure to cope with such a large number of houses.


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Rosemary Wyard, 57, of Easterley Way, said although she liked the idea of keeping the existing swimming pool, she preferred a supermarket rather than more homes.

She said: “We don't need masses and masses of houses. The infrastructure here is awful. There is a permanent stench because the sewage system cannot cope with the existing houses. I think 200 is too many houses and I would have preferred half that number.”

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However, Margaret Gregory, 85, of St Mary's Close, was in favour of the plans believing the village would not miss the holidaymakers associated with the Pontins site.

She said: “I would have more residential and a reduction in holiday parks. I am lucky because I have a car and don't have to rely on the buses, but when I do travel by bus it is hell on earth because it is packed with holidaymakers and you can't get on the buses.”

She added the housing would make up for any loss in tourist trade because there would have to be more shops in the village to cater for the new residents.

However, Jack Bensly, 54, of North Road, wanted the site to remain as a holiday park.

He said: “They say that it is not viable to have a holiday park here, but it would be viable in the right hands. Pontins have not spent anything on it. It has just been run down and obviously people won't come here if they won't spend money on it.”

Pam Richmond, 76, of Winterton Road, said: “I think there is too big an area given over to residential housing. It is not needed in this area.”

She said there were already enough pubs in the village, but did not think the village would miss the tourists Pontins helped to attract, adding that the village had been busy this summer.

The traditional seaside Pontins camp closed its doors in January with the loss of 55 jobs. The Northern Trust received about 200 responses from the 1,200 people canvassed about the plans.

Stephen Glenn, Northern Trust land executive, said the exhibition had had a very mixed response and that he was pleased so many residents had expressed an interest in the displays.

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