Although it occupies one of the prime spots on a north Norfolk seafront, the site of Sheringham’s former Shannocks hotel has sat unused and unloved for over a decade. 

But now North Norfolk District Council could trigger a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) it already has on the High Street property in order to finally get the wheels moving on its redevelopment.

At a meeting next week councillors will consider whether to implement the CPO it was granted following previous delays on the project moving forward.

The hotel on the site was built more than a century ago, and it was finally demolished in May 2021 after years of dereliction.

But developers Huddies Ltd are yet to start work on a new building housing flats and shops that has been approved as the hotel’s replacement. 

Eastern Daily Press: The demolition of the former Shannocks hotel site in Sheringham in May 2021The demolition of the former Shannocks hotel site in Sheringham in May 2021 (Image: Chris Taylor Photo)

A council officers’ report prepared ahead of the meeting says: “The owner has completed phase one of the agreed works by demolishing the former Shannocks Hotel building by June 2021.

"Beyond this, notwithstanding consistent pressure on the owner by the council for a number of months, redevelopment of the Shannocks site remains stalled. 

"The owners have stated that they are making their best efforts to start re-development of the site.

"However, progress has historically been either at a slow pace or non-existent. 

“The owner has repeatedly asked to extend the agreed project start dates, whilst providing no practical evidence of being ready to commence redevelopment.”

The council says the developer previously agreed to start construction by November 23 this year, with the building to have been finished by June 2023.

Liz Withington, district councillor for Sheringham North ward, said she backed NNDC now taking action.

Ms Withington said: "The Shannocks as a dilapidated and run-down building has been an issue for the town since the current owners took over in 2010. 

“It was therefore a great relief in November 2019 when the new Liberal Democrat administration commenced the compulsory purchase process. 

“It was this which encouraged the owners to initiate redevelopment with the demolition of the Shannocks. It also set clear deadlines for further action by the owners, which they have failed to meet. 

“It is right therefore in my view and by many in the community that the CPO process moves ahead.”

What happened to the Shannocks?

The site of the former hotel was left a wasteland after its demolition.

The building was originally called the Sea View Hotel and later the Shannocks, before closing down as the No.1 Bistro Bar.

Huddies' redevelopment was to include flats and commercial units housed in a single building. The plans were approved in 2017, but delays led to the council making a compulsory purchase order on the building in January 2020.

There were further negotiations and delays in part due to the pandemic, before the demolition was finally able to proceed.