Great Yarmouth tarmac decision 'wrecks look of seafront'

Yarmouth seafront before and after Image copyright Google / BBC
Image caption Granite cobbles installed on Great Yarmouth seafront (left) have been pulled up and replaced with a tarmac surface (right)

A decision to replace a cobbled seafront only installed a decade ago with tarmac has "wrecked the whole look" of the area, a businessman says.

The granite setts in Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, had a "high level of maintenance and expense", Norfolk County Council said.

The cobbles were laid 10 years ago as part of a regeneration of the area.

Michael Cole, who owns Joyland amusement park, said the new tarmac looked "absolutely horrible".

"The cobbles gave the area a character, it was something unique to the area, and all this has done is turned it back into an A road," he said.

The leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Graham Plant, said his officers had recommended the cobbles stay in place, but had been ignored.

Image caption The leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council said tarmac was not wanted on the seafront

"We spent an awful lot of money making the seafront look an attractive place," he said.

"Tarmac is not what we want there on the seafront, it's not what we paid all that money for, and Norfolk County Council ought to put back what they've taken away, because this is something that's important to us as a town."

In a statement, a Norfolk County Council spokesman said the stone setts had been "permanently removed" because "they were becoming loose in a number of places, creating a safety hazard for drivers, and other road users, giving increased vehicle noise levels and creating a high cost for carriageway maintenance repairs".

"We always try to take consultee views into account, but we must make the final decision based on what is best on a case by case basis," the spokesman added.

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