Pontins: 190 homes on Hemsby holiday camp approved

Derelict Pontins site Image copyright Geograph/Hugh Venables
Image caption The Pontins site, pictured in 2012, has been derelict since it closed in 2008

Plans to build 190 homes on the site of a former Pontins holiday camp have been approved by councillors.

The site in Hemsby, Norfolk, has been derelict since closing in 2009 and developers want a "residential-led mixed-use redevelopment".

As well as 190 homes, there would also be retail space and an area for 50 static caravans.

There were jeers from the public gallery as all but one councillor voted in favour of the plans.

The redevelopment was discussed at a meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's Development Control Committee on Wednesday.

'Appalling noise'

A consultation on the plans received 109 objections and one response in favour of the development.

Most concerns raised over the redevelopment related to the number of new homes putting pressure on local infrastructure such as schools, GP surgeries and highways.

The positive response stated it supported the plans because the Pontins holiday camp was "an appalling source of noise both day and night".

Image copyright Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service
Image caption An arson attack in July 2018 destroyed the former reception area of the holiday camp

Developers Northern Trust Company Ltd said the site is in a "generally poor condition" and despite 24-hour security there had been "a number of burglaries and fires over the years".

Last year more than 90 firefighters tackled a blaze at the site which was caused by an arson attack.

Hemsby Parish Council said the application "should be refused on the basis that it proposes a non-conforming permanent change of use to the land that is safeguarded for tourism facilities".

It feared a change of usage would "harm the local economy" and "set a precedent" for other holiday areas to have "protection removed".

Parish council chairman Charlotte Hill said the focus would now shift to ensuring the caravan park was "signed, sealed and delivered".

The borough council's committee recommended the plans be approved "subject to conditions" and an agreement to provide affordable housing, library books, play space and highway requirements.

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