Holiday camp chalets to be remodelled as low-cost homes under new Pontins plan
PUBLISHED: 09:14 16 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:34 16 September 2020
The new owners of a derelict holiday camp have revealed their plans for hundreds of homes and holiday lets they say will bring the site back to life and boost the economy.
Images of the proposed redevelopment of the former Pontins holiday camp, in Hemsby, have been released as part of a full planning application submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council - the first since the site suddenly shut in December 2008.
Work is already underway clearing the site and refurbishing the chalets which will be remodelled as low-cost homes under the vision which aims to use as many of the remaining buildings as possible.
At the heart of the complex will be a new community hub and leisure centre which retains the old pool, but with added extras including a spa, gym, cafe and changing village.
Almost all the residential units, mainly two and three bedroom houses, will be in upgraded chalet accomodation at the northern part of the site, with the holiday element comprising 91 units still accessed off Beach Road via the old camp entrance.
According to Pine Developments, the proposal is an “enhanced scheme beyond the aspirations of the outline approval.”
It says in a planning statement prepared by Parker Planning Services: “The aim is to benefit tourism, the local community and to provide much needed further housing in a way that transforms the site into a hub of social, leisure and recreational activities.”
The plan features:
• 188 low cost houses (down from 234) formed by refurbishment and adaptation to existing chalet stock
• 91 holday lets (up from 47) in nine refurbished chalet blocks (53 units) and 33 new lodges
• A convenience store
• Three retail units with flats above
• Community leisure centre and cafe around existing refurbished pool with added gym, spa, and changing village
• Welcome point for holiday makers in existing building
• New access off Kings Way.
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Elsewhere the site will retain its “parkland feel” with enhanced landscaping, keeping most of the trees, hedgerows, and green spaces.
Papers submitted in support of the application say the development bid is an opportunity to “create a sense of place and community in which people would be happy to live today and well into the future.”
MORE: ‘The landowner should pay’ - shock figures reveal string of fires at former Pontins site
They add: “However, to achieve this it should be borne in mind that the construction costs will very much need to be controlled.
“This drives the philosophy of retaining as many of the existing structures as possible to remodel and upgrade rather than to completely demolish and clear the site to start with brand new buildings throughout.
“Clearly, there is a lot more expense involved in clearing the site.”
Outline planning approval, granted in February, covers complete demolition and clearance of the full site, construction of an entirely new development of 190 general market residential houses, including an affordable element, an area for new convenience store and shops, and five acres for static caravans (around 50 units).
In re-using the majority of the chalets the developer hopes to keep costs down.
Retaining the 22-acre site for tourism has been at the crux of a stand-off between developers and locals for years.
As its fate was argued over and various schemes put forward - including one for Eden Project-style holiday domes - the site fell further into disrepair.
Great Yarmouth MP, Brandon Lewis, voiced his frustrations as the the site became a magnet for vandals and arsonsists - the frequent fire brigade calls a drain on the public purse and a hazard.
An outline planning application submittted five year ago by Northern Trust was given the green light earlier this year with Pine Developments emerging as new owners some months later.
Assuming planning permission is granted by the end of the year, work will begin to transform the site in phases from 2021.
The 22 acre site consists of four single storey chalet blocks and 44 two storey chalet blocks – total of 512 individual chalets.
In 2008 staff were given just 48 hours notice of its closure before they had to leave.
It could accommodate 2,440 people at peak capacity.
The camp brought in tens of thousands of people a year and gave businesses in Hemsby a steady stream of customers.
To view the plans click the link here.
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