Opinion has been divided over plans to build an 80 bed hotel and adjoining restaurant at a “gateway” to Great Yarmouth - with residents in support of the scheme and existing guest house owners against it.

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A five storey Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre restaurant is being earmarked for the site off North River Road and planning chiefs are being encouraged to pass the proposals when they come up for discussion tomorrow (Tuesday).

But plans to build on the vacant 1.8 acre plot off the Runham roundabout has split businesses and residents, and provoked mixed feelings from the Greater Yarmouth Tourism Authority (GYTA).

In a letter to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, which will make a final decision about the scheme, Ken Sims, GYTA chairman, said: “Whilst the board welcomes the sign of confidence in Great Yarmouth shown with the application to build a new 80 bedroom hotel and restaurant by a recognised national brand, the board would echo the concerns of some of their members about the potential impact on existing hotels and guest houses.”

Two petitions have been lodged since the plans were submitted; one from hoteliers, which has gained 21 signatures, and the other from residents near the proposed site listing their “strong support” for the scheme, which has gained 61 signatures.

Planning documents reveal Whitbread, the parent company of Premier Inn and Brewers Fayre, has been looking for a site in Great Yarmouth “for some time” and believes the site has the potential to meet a “strong demand” from tourists and business customers.

The documents state that the hotel and restaurant - to be built over two storeys to accommodate 200 diners - combined would create around 70 jobs and help strengthen the gateway to the town from the A12/A47. The development would also include a 125 space car park.

Members of the council’s development committee are being recommended to pass the plans on balance, as the proposal has been deemed an “acceptable form of development for the site”. But they are also reminded that any approval must address the concerns of the Environment Agency over flooding.

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