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MP Brandon Lewis accuses owners of former holiday park of neglecting site following latest fire

PUBLISHED: 14:07 23 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:52 23 August 2019

Great Yarmouth's MP Brandon Lewis has accused Northern Trust of neglecting the former Pontins site in Hemsby. Picture: UK Parliament

Great Yarmouth's MP Brandon Lewis has accused Northern Trust of neglecting the former Pontins site in Hemsby. Picture: UK Parliament

UK Parliament

Great Yarmouth's MP, Brandon Lewis, has criticised the owners of the former Pontins holiday park in Hemsby for neglecting the site.

The damage to the former Pontins holiday park after a blaze there on Thursday, August 22. A second fire has broken out on August 28. Photo: Jamie HoneywoodThe damage to the former Pontins holiday park after a blaze there on Thursday, August 22. A second fire has broken out on August 28. Photo: Jamie Honeywood

Mr Lewis, who had previously opposed Northern Trust's plans to build 200 homes on the park, has now called on the company to press ahead with the development.

His latest comments come after a large blaze ripped through the holiday park in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Six fire crews rushed to the site at 1.20am to tackle the fire.

One remained on the scene until about midday on Thursday.

Holes in the fence surrounding the former Pontins holiday park in Hemsby. Picture: Joseph NortonHoles in the fence surrounding the former Pontins holiday park in Hemsby. Picture: Joseph Norton

Mr Lewis said: "The latest fire, is yet another example of the neglect of the owners, and I would support the council in undertaking any enforcement action they felt appropriate.

"Although I opposed the plans, now they have been approved, the owners should not let this site continue to stay abandoned, and start to develop the site, starting first with the promised tourist provision."

The MP was one of a number of campaigners who objected Northern Trust's development proposals as he believes the land should be retained for holiday use.

The plans, which were approved by Great Yarmouth Borough Council last month, will see 190 homes, shops and a 50-unit caravan park created on the former Pontins site.

Fire-fighters using the aerial platform to damp down after a large fire at the old Pontins holiday park in Hemsby. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodFire-fighters using the aerial platform to damp down after a large fire at the old Pontins holiday park in Hemsby. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

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Thursday's fire was one of a long list of incidents which firefighters have been called out to in recent years.

In June, this newspaper revealed Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service had attended a total of 14 fires at Pontins in the last five years.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has previously written to Northern Trust to raise the issue of the fires and to find out what their intentions are to address these.

The former Pontins holiday park in Hemsby engulfed in flames following a fire on Thursday. Picture: Luke NuddThe former Pontins holiday park in Hemsby engulfed in flames following a fire on Thursday. Picture: Luke Nudd

Council officers visited the site on Thursday to assess the situation.

In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "We have spoken with a representative of the Northern Trust Company, the site's owner, plus their demolition contractor.

"The council's top priority is to ensure the community and immediate area remain safe.

"A number of statutory nuisance notices, served previously by the council following past fires at other buildings, remain in place at the site."

Northern Trust has been approached for comment.

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