Pub bid dropped as more plans put forward for old Pontins site in Hemsby

The Former Hemsby Pontins Holiday camp.

The Former Hemsby Pontins Holiday camp. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The controversial development of a former holiday camp is back on the table with plans to build 200 homes - but the firm behind the scheme has scrapped its bid to build a pub on the site.

A map of the proposed development of the Pontins site in Hemsby

A map of the proposed development of the Pontins site in Hemsby - Credit: Archant

And developers hope Hemsby residents will take to the revamped plans for the old Pontins site as they say they have listened to villagers' concerns and made changes.

Documents submitted to the council on behalf of landowners Northern Trust says feedback from residents 'was taken on board' and the plans being put forward 'sought to reflect comments received'.

Among the changes that have been made are:

Scrapping the plans for a new pub

Dropping direct driveways to the new homes from Beach Road and Kings Way

Enlarging the area for commercial/community use with 'speculative space' proposed to allow for a wider variety of uses

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Concerns about flooding and drainage have also been considered further, developers say. As part of the plans they aim to reduce the potential for flooding by reducing the level of hard surfaced areas and introducing more greenery.

The new plans have had a mixed reaction among local leaders with one standing firm that the land should be returned to holiday use.

George Jermany, borough councillor for Hemsby, said he was sticking to official policy that the site was 'prime holiday' land.

'I'm still for that because that's what the majority of Hemsby is saying and I feel I need to represent that,' he added. 'There's an inbetween [plan] and no one's come up with it.

'The bottom line is Hemsby is looking for employment; 200 houses isn't employment. And we have developments in the village which haven't even started.'

Keith Kyriacou, chairman of Hemsby parish council, echoed Mr Jermany's concerns that other schemes, such as the one for dozens of new homes in Common Road, had not been built yet, and combined with the Pontins plans it would be too much for the village.

But he acknowledged the site would 'never be a holiday park again' and thought the way forward would be to get the best deal for Hemsby, if the development went ahead.

Mr Kyriacou said: 'Our burial ground needs extending, Back Market Lane needs widening, a footpath and street lights - maybe if it got planning permission they would sort that out for us?

'I don't really want to see more houses but in reality with what the government is saying, it's going to come. It's an awkward one, we have just got to get the best for the village.'

Borough councillor Shirley Weymouth said she would be talking to planning officers and was trying to arrange a public meeting with the developers.

Pontins closed in 2009 with the loss of 55 jobs. Since then there have been numerous plans put forward for the site, including one in October 2009, which suggested new homes, a family pub and care home.

The most recent proposal, submitted in September 2014 by developer Persimmon, to build 250 homes, was pulled by the firm.

Northern Trust then stepped in and revealed its early plans for the site during public consultations in January, and has now submitted its outline proposal to Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Documents say the majority of the 21 acre site would be given over to housing, with two acres allocated for the 'development of community facilities'.

The homes proposed would be a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced units, and would include affordable housing.

The community/commercial units would have a flexible use and more details about these facilities are expected at a later stage of the planning process.

Developers say the scheme would 'provide a significant enhancement to the character of the local area' by bulldozing the vacant Pontins units and replacing them with 'an attractive development of contemporary houses and community facilities'.

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