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‘Vibrant and forward-looking’ - owners unveil vision to transform derelict seafront hotel in Sheringham

PUBLISHED: 06:00 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:48 13 February 2017

A computer generated image of the development proposed on the site of the former Shannocks Hotel in Sheringham. Picture: Lucas Hickman Smith

A computer generated image of the development proposed on the site of the former Shannocks Hotel in Sheringham. Picture: Lucas Hickman Smith

Lucas Hickman Smith

New plans have been unveiled to transform a derelict hotel at the centre of the seafront in one of north Norfolk’s holiday hotspots into a “vibrant, forward-looking building”.

The former Shannocks Hotel in Sheringham. Picture: Mark BullimoreThe former Shannocks Hotel in Sheringham. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Ground floor retail units, a first-floor restaurant and residential apartments on the upper floors are included in Huddies Ltd’s vision for the redevelopment of the former Shannocks Hotel in Sheringham.

Developed by the Beeston Regis-based company which owns the property, with the support of Norwich-based surveyors Daniel Connal Partnership and Wymondham architects Lucas Hickman Smith Ltd, the proposals for the High Street site include the demolition of the current building amid concerns it has become a blight on the local landscape.

In a statement issued by Huddies Ltd, a spokesperson said: “We believe the application proposes a vibrant, forward-looking new building, of high architectural quality and demonstrating a clear architectural link to Sheringham’s heritage and its immediate context.

“This exciting project will enhance the conservation area, positively contribute to its built context, and provide a suitably lively and animated focus at the heart of the seafront.

“The inclusion of the restaurant illustrates the company’s policy that local life should be enhanced by the proposed development, and in particular that the wider community should have the opportunity to enjoy the expansive views over the promenade, the beach and the sea that are offered by the site’s location.”

The plans have been submitted to North Norfolk District Council as the local authority prepares to ask councillors to approve plans to set aside almost £500,000 of its budget to compulsory purchase the site for an alternative development.

However, Huddies Ltd, which lists Andrew Roper as its sole director, has urged it to rethink its proposals in light of its application.

The spokesperson for the firm continued: “At a time when the council is having to sell off its assets, putting very large sums of public money at risk would not be in the interests of local ratepayers, and we hope that the £490,000 recently allocated to fund a CPO will be redirected to meet the district’s needs elsewhere.

“The council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for legal services Judy Oliver recently admitted that the compulsory purchase alone could delay redevelopment for up to 18 months. Since we expect to complete redevelopment in this time, committing further public funds to compulsory acquisition is plainly irrational.”

Huddies Ltd revealed it had considered retaining and renovating the current building. But, it stated, the costs involved would “detrimentally impact upon the viability of the scheme”.

The Huddies spokesperson explained: “Whilst some parts of the building are relatively old, it has been extensively altered in recent years and attempts no architectural connection with Sheringham. The existing building’s unsympathetic architecture and prohibitive spatial features would always significantly impede the use of a renovated building.

“Retention and renovation of existing buildings is not always an option, and the professional and expert opinion received by the company is that this cannot be justified, and would detrimentally impact upon the viability of the scheme.

“In addition, the existing building’s solid wall construction precludes most forms of thermal insulation and, together with a permeable external skin, has meant that the building has been unable to resist salt spray in its exposed location, leading to significant damp problems.

“The company’s objective of achieving a high level of thermal and environmental performance from the building can only be achieved through demolition and redevelopment.”

If the plans are approved, it is hoped work could start before the end of the year.

However, the developers, who bought the site in late 2010, have agreed to complete the works outwith high season.

The Huddies spokesperson added: “The site is significant in the context of Sheringham and North Norfolk, and the company is fully committed to providing this positive, contemporary addition to the town, which it fully expects will benefit the local community - providing employment in the ground and first floor commercial spaces, improving the commercial viability of the high street, attracting visitors to the town and presenting a bright, optimistic and forward-looking vision for the seafront and the town.

The council earlier this month revealed it could stop the compulsory purchase order at any time if the current site owners were seen to be taking action to tidy up the area.

However, while the site remains unoccupied, the local authority revealed it could prevent development elsewhere in the town.

Speaking at the time, district council leader Tom FitzPatrick added: “We’re prepared, if necessary, to go as far as compulsory purchase.”

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7 comments

  • As has been said, difficult to tell from this illustration. Hope that the apartments are for folk living full time in the area and not second or holiday home investments. And, yes, jennifer jane, a lot of people say that, but not sure the council are listening.

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    weaversway

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017

  • A modern replacement would be great in my opinion, but what we are shown lacks impact and inspiration. I would urge a look at Cromer's Rockethouse Cafe and museum, which is very successful in purpose and design. Please put some effort into the building and make it worthy of the central position it inhabits on the Seafront!

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    Monika Wiedmann

    Monday, February 13, 2017

  • You cannot deny the design what can be seen of it is vibrant and forward thinking and the existing building needs something done to it. . I don't go to Sheringham, Holt or the Suffolk resorts of Southwold and Aldeburgh for vibrant and forward thinking I go because they are peaceful unspoilt . It would be interesting to read not only residents views but visitors

    Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Monday, February 13, 2017

  • The one illustration provided is too sketchy to give a proper idea of what they're proposing. A view from the east is needed to assess whether the large gable end that has been such a feature of the town's roofscape for many years is to be reproduced. Also need information about whether they are proposing to take in the adjoining car park as the council scheme proposed.

    Report this comment

    Chris Booty

    Monday, February 13, 2017

  • a statement issued by Huddies Ltd, a spokesperson said: “We believe the application proposes a vibrant, forward-looking new building, of high architectural quality......are they beach huts on the roof, no, it does not please the eye.

    Report this comment

    Rorping

    Monday, February 13, 2017

  • Totally agree with tidying up the area. but try to keep the front of the building looking as original as it was to keep in fitting with the other buildings on the front. North Norfolk Council also need to have a view of what the residebnts and other busines think about the changes alongh with doing something about extending parking facilities at a fair parking fee. you dont want to put tourists off do you.

    Report this comment

    edifir

    Monday, February 13, 2017

  • What we can see of the proposed new building looks hideous. Can't they use the front of the older building as a facade?

    Report this comment

    Max Headroom

    Monday, February 13, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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