Plans entered for Pontins site in Hemsby
- Credit: Simon Carter
Plans have been entered for the redevelopment of the former Pontins site in Hemsby.
Northern Trust Company Ltd have entered plans for 190 homes, retail development and holiday accommodation on the 22-acre site in Beach Road.
The application follows a public exhibition of the plans which took place in February, where the public were able to view a ‘draft masterplan’.
A decision on the plans is due by September 7.
The Pontins holiday site closed ten years ago, when staff were given just 48 hours to leave as the camp closed suddenly.
It has remained unused since after the vast site was not snapped up by rival holiday firms.
The land was designated in 2001 by the borough council’s local plan as a primary holiday accommodation area and the landowners Northern Trust said they marketed the site as such but a tourism buyer was not found.
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The site has since fallen into disrepair and a suspected arson attack took place there in September last year.
James Bensly, Great Yarmouth borough councillor for Hemsby, said he feared the plans were a threat to tourism jobs in the area.
“I don’t think they’ve looked hard enough at the possibility of keeping it as a tourism site, and it worries me that we’ll have other places go the same way and turn land into housing.
“I fully understand that people need homes, but if sites start being changed, that means low-skilled tourism jobs could go and where will local people work?” he said.
At a consultation event in Hemsby in February, residents also raised fears that the extra homes would not be complemented by a doctor’s surgery, dentists or other key infrastructure.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council has previously indicated that it was willing to accept a housing-based scheme at the site, only for members to go against their advice and refuse an application.
Developers Northern Trust were contacted for a comment but did not reply.
Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, wrote to Northern Trust’s director, Mike Grindrod, last week asking if any business or individual had come forward to offer an interest in buying the site.
Mr Lewis said residents were keen to see it be used for tourism.