Boat building firm submits supermarket and homes proposal

Broom Boats 115th anniversary with some of the old boats back at Brundall. Picture: Duncan Abel <ple

Broom Boats 115th anniversary with some of the old boats back at Brundall. Picture: Duncan Abel <please credit Duncan Abel>

A boat building firm is hoping that a new supermarket and housing development will fund a much-needed £1.5m upgrade to its workshops.

Broom Boats is seeking permission to build a 2,500sqm retail store and 192 homes on land between the A47 and Berryfields, in Brundall.

The company, which is also based in the village, said money from the scheme would enable it to keep up with rival boat building businesses in Europe.

Director Matthew Harvey explained: 'We have an ageing site in terms of the workshops and they are not really fit for purpose any more. On top of that, it is a very tough market place and our competition is high.

'One of the employers in Europe we speak to has around 100 staff and they build 114 boats a year. In comparison, we are no way near that. It is an area we know we need to move up a step.'

The proposed supermarket includes 150 parking spaces and would be located between the A47 and Yarmouth Road.

Meanwhile, a further 192 one bedroom to four bedroom properties are planned for an area of agricultural land between Yarmouth Road and Berryfields.

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The overall site covers more than 21 aces, of which around five acres would be turned into public open space.

Mr Harvey said the development would help pay for the first phase of upgrades to company's boat production workshop, costing around £1.5m.

He added that a further £1.2m would be needed for a second phase of work to its boat repair workshop.

Broom Boats was founded in 1898 and employs around 100 people in Brundall.

To view the plans, search application 20161483 on the Broadland planning website.

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