New future beckons for North Denes Airfield in Great Yarmouth as site is put up for sale
A piece of Great Yarmouth’s aviation history which has been out of use for two years has been put up for sale.
The North Denes Airfield served oil and gas platforms in the Southern North Sea for more than half a century, but closed in 2015 after helicopter operator CHC started flying from Norwich Airport.
Now the 60.5-acre (24.5 hectare) site at Caister Road is being marketed for sale, either as a whole or in parts, with the sellers hoping for seven-figure bids for the land.
James Allen of Roche said: “We anticipate that the site will generate a lot of interest from a wide range of potential occupiers and developers.
“The site clearly has potential for continued aviation use but the prospects of this seem unlikely and therefore alternative commercial uses and development are likely to be the focus of interest in the site.
“The input of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, as planning authority, is being sought and will be a factor in deciding the future ownership and use of this significant site.”
On the potential price tag for the site, Mr Allen said: “We will be indicating that we will be looking for offers in the region of £2m for an unconditional sale – but the basis of interest and any conditions will have to be taken into account with any offers made for all or part of the site.”
The brownfield site includes two hangars, a terminal building, offices and storage accommodation, as well as an air traffic control facility, with the buildings totalling 33,500 sq ft. Most of the site is unsurfaced, apart from roadways and helicopter landing areas, and there are two grass runways.
“There is potential for the future development of the site subject to planning consent for a wide range of possible uses that might be commercial and/or residential,” added Mr Allen.
The closure of the heliport was confirmed in 2015, with the loss of 30 jobs, after CHC lost a contract with Perenco following the oil company’s move to Norwich.
Helicopters ferrying offshore workers had been a regular sight since 1965, with more than 5,000 passengers a month using the airfield in its early-1970s heyday.
From the turn of the century onwards, the decision of operators to relocate to Norwich Airport drew business away from the airfield, which closed in 2015.