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Pledge to fight for park future

PUBLISHED: 15:14 15 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:47 03 July 2010

THE future of the closed Pontin's holiday park at Hemsby remains a mystery after its owners said this week there were no plans for what to do with it.

Northern Trust's comments came in the context of its £50m plan to demolish another Pontin's site that it owns at Blackpool and build 370 homes.

THE future of the closed Pontin's holiday park at Hemsby remains a mystery after its owners said this week there were no plans for what to do with it.

Northern Trust's comments came in the context of its £50m plan to demolish another Pontin's site that it owns at Blackpool and build 370 homes.

And, reacting to the reassurance that Northern Trust had not drawn up plans to knock down the Hemsby camp, a senior councillor at Great Yarmouth Borough Council pledged he would fight to prevent that from happening.

Graham Plant, cabinet member for tourism, said there were strong suspicions the holiday park might be demolished after the site ceased operations earlier this month as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

Mr Plant said: “We expect that is what is going to happen. We have always defended and protected the tourist industry and we will continue to do so.

“The tourism industry brings in £400m to the borough. What other industry can step in and put that amount of money into Yarmouth?”

On January 5, the owners of Pontin's, Ocean Parcs, shut down the Hemsby camp suddenly, citing a lack of trade, high running costs and the need for substantial investment. The decision affected 55 staff.

Ocean Parcs still holds the short-term lease until September, when it reverts to the landowner, Northern Trust.

A spokesman for Chorley-based Northern Trust said: “We don't have any plans for the site at all.”

He added that the company would have been happy for Ocean Parcs to continue its lease contract past September and that it would be negotiating with the business soon over the future of the Hemsby site.

At the end of last year Northern Trust submitted a £50m scheme to demolish the Blackpool Pontin's on land it owns and build 370 homes in several years time. The plan has drawn strong criticism from local councillors and residents.

When Ocean Parcs announced its Hemsby park had closed, it said the six other Pontin's sites, including the one at Pakefield and the Fylde Coast holiday park in Lancashire, were poised to expand since they were thriving.

Meanwhile Ocean Parcs said its Pakefield camp would be the first to benefit from its expansion plans.


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