£20m plan for 260-bed hotel and caravan park at Hemsby
17:41 08 October 2012
Fresh life is set to be breathed into Hemsby’s tourism industry, with £20m plans for a 260-bed hotel and 267 new caravans revealed.
Owners of Seacroft Holiday Village and Hemsby Beach Holiday Park hope to demolish old-fashioned “sheds” at the Seacroft to make way for a two-storey hotel, and totally redevelop the Beach Holiday Park with caravans.
The development would see an increase of more than 100 rooms, and a shift to all-year opening - providing a boost to the 50 workers currently on seasonal contracts.
Ten permanent staff are employed at the parks.
Greg Munford, chief executive of park owners Richardson’s, said redevelopment of both sites is needed to ensure their long-term success.
“Customers see that the team there are second to none, but what we do need to do is improve our accommodation to bring it up to a higher level,” he explained. “The hotel rooms would be Premier Inn type of standard.
“At the moment some go back to the 1930s era, and as customers get more discerning we do need to improve.”
Plans have been lodged with the borough council by Richardson’s, and designs have been worked up with architects at Yarmouth’s Paul Robinson Partnership.
Building work could begin as soon as Winter 2013 if permission is won, with the application set to go before the development control committee in November.
A close ranked series of “tired and dilapidated” existing holiday chalets at the Seacroft in Beach Road would be demolished under plans, along with a disused swimming pool, tennis courts and redundant outbuilding.
The outdoor bowling green also sits within this area and would be retained, as would existing rows of good quality holiday let bungalows.
The new two-storey hotel would provide 260 en suite rooms - a net gain of 120 rooms after the chalets are demolished - built to three-star standard.
A reception hub would be situated close to the existing facilities building.
The hotel would be designed to cope with winter weather, and is anticipated to stay open in January and February - when the park currently closes for maintenance.
Construction would be phased over 10 years, with the hotel to be built in wings of between 24 and 36 rooms.
“We want to make sure it doesn’t disrupt customers on our site,” added Mr Munford. “It’s not going to happen overnight.”
All chalets are set to be removed from Hemsby Beach Holiday Village, with work to be done in “pockets of development” to site the 267 static caravans and lodges.
A new sweeping spine roadway would run through the site, entering from Beach Road from a point approximately 100 metres to the west of the existing access point, with an existing private dwelling fronting Beach Road removed to enable this.
The existing access point to the site from Beach Road would be closed to cars, but kept to enable pedestrian access.
The static caravans would be laid out in forked cul-de-sacs to either side of the main roadway, which would run round behind the adjacent Seacroft site into the meadow area, skirting the retained woodland area before running back southwards broadly parallel to King’s Loke.
Detached holiday lodges would be laid out to either side of the spine roadway, other than one area of lodges grouped around a fork in the north-eastern corner of the existing meadow.
Additional footpaths are also proposed to be built between the Seacroft and the Beach Holiday Village now both sites are under the management of Richardson’s.
The £20m development has been planned since 2008, with work hoped to start in Winter 2013 and take 10 years.
Currently there are around 550 beds at the Seacroft, and 800 beds at Hemsby Beach Holiday Village.
The news has been welcomed by local businessmen, who fear that the former Pontin’s site in Beach Road could be sold off for use as housing.
Comments on Richardson’s application can be made until Friday, October 26.