Friday, March 21, 2014
Two national restaurant chains have been given the green light to move into Great Yarmouth - bringing nearly 100 new jobs and boosting a major gateway into the town.
Marstons Inn and Frankie and Benny’s are set to build new outlets on the plot of disused and overgrown land off Jones (GC) Way, and in front of Tesco Extra, after planning chiefs warmly welcomed their plans to come to the town.
And the developments have been hailed by business leaders for the boost they will bring to the local jobs market, and Great Yarmouth’s overall offer to residents, tourists and shoppers.
It took members of the borough council’s development control committee just a matter of minutes to pass both bids at a meeting on Tuesday.
Their approval will now pave the way for a Marstons Inn, creating 60 jobs, which will sit beside a Frankie and Benny’s restaurant, creating 30 jobs, as well as car parking and landscaping. Outline permission was also given for a drive-through coffee shop/restaurant to be built on the site.
Julia Howard, from Great Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce, hailed the developments as “very positive” for the town.
“When you see the big chains move into the town it does reflect their confidence (in the town) and it normally means that others follow, and I think Yarmouth has been waiting a while to see some more,” she added.
Cllr John Holmes, ward member for Southtown and Cobholm, was among those who fully supported the plans and thought local residents would welcome both chains.
He said: “In the last few months there’s been several discussions about possible retail, commercial and leisure [opportunities] all in that part of town, which is really good for the Cobholm and Southtown people.”
The out-of-town location for the restaurants had been raised as a slight concern during Tuesday’s planning meeting, but councillors were told the applicants had looked at other areas in the borough but no other suitable sites had been found.
Cllr Jim Shrimplin, ward member for Ormesby, thought the land - which has remained empty despite being earmarked for five warehouse units in 1996 - was “crying out” for development.
And Mrs Howard thought the developments would benefit the whole town - including the high street.
She said: “People that may come over to go into one of those restaurants are quite likely to visit the town. And for the holiday industry, I think people like to see what else is in the area, and get a certain amount of confidence from seeing the big names.
“So I think it’s really positive news for the town.”
The plans were passed, with one abstention, subject to developers satisfying concerns raised by the Environment Agency over flooding and drainage.