See inside new homes taking shape at former Pontins holiday park
- Credit: Denise Bradley
It was once the bustling holiday heart of a seaside village, brimming with people enjoying a fortnight by the beach and the luxury of running water.
Work has been going on for some 16 months clearing the former Pontins site at Hemsby as more than 630 chalets are converted into modern homes.
Having been shut since 2008, the developer is ready to show off all that has been achieved at the former holiday hub famous for its knobbly knee contests and smiling bluecoats.
Project manager Steve McGrath said he was proud of what was being created at the leafy site where a mix of mainly two and three bedroomed homes would be finished off to a high standard.
He estimated it would be another two years until it was all finished, but was ready to launch a series of show homes so the public could see for themselves the community that was being created.
Work has involved knocking down one block of chalets and remodelling the rest.
Buyers can choose between a mix of models with balconies, open-plan living, and en-suite bathrooms among the options, with the average sale price around £225,000.
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They are also available under the Government's Help to Buy scheme .
Mr McGrath said the development was unique and possibly award-winning - the conversion chiming with sustainability targets for reusing materials and cutting the carbon footprint.
Concrete floors meant they were well insulated and no corners had been cut with the final finishes, he said, adding it was a good feeling to have "made something out of something."
All the homes had been brought forward in line with the old metal balconies, looking out on communal green spaces as well as having their own enclosed gardens.
With some 60 workers on site most days, efforts are focussed on the residential south end.
The north end near Beach Road is given over to second homes and 35 lodges costing around £190,000 all with fitted appliances.
Overall, the 22 acre site will host 276 homes, a convenience store, three small shop units, and a public pool and leisure centre.
The hope is that 30 houses will be finished by the end of the year ready for the first people to move in in January.
History of the site
Pontins closed suddenly in 2008 with the loss of 55 jobs when owners Ocean Parcs pulled the plug after almost 80 years in the village.
While there was a strong preference to keep it for holiday use the site struggled to interest an operator and planning permission was granted to clear the chalets to make way for homes.
Over the years it has been touted as perfect for an Eden of the East, where visitors would camp in biodomes, and as a veterans' village.
The current development re-uses the chalets and introduces new entrances off Kingsway.
Although cheaper than a total rebuild it has still cost tens of millions of pounds.
Development director Tracey Pashley said interest had been strong from first time buyers and people relocating from across the country.
To register your interest contact selling agents Charles Bycroft.