Plans for Yarmouth industrial area slammed by regeneration pioneer

Gillian Harwood and South Denes

Gillian Harwood criticised the plan for continued industry in South Denes as "profoundly depressing". - Credit: James Bass/Antony Kelly

Plans for an industrial area of Great Yarmouth have been slammed as “profoundly depressing” by the author of a plan to regenerate the town. 

Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC) is currently consulting with residents on the renewal of Local Development Orders (LDOs) in Great Yarmouth’s South Denes area and Gorleston’s Beacon Park area. 

In places covered by LDOs, certain forms of construction are allowed without planning permission - meaning they are generally welcomed by businesses hoping to alter their premises. 

A view of the South Denes area and seafront in Great Yarmouth.
Picture: James Bass

A view of the South Denes area and seafront in Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Continued industry in South Denes would coincide with the construction of the Third River Crossing over the Yare, which is also expected to boost business

But Gillian Harwood, author of a manifesto to regenerate the town called Catch the Tide, said the LDO renewal plans in South Denes were “profoundly depressing” and came at the expense of leisure and nature opportunities. 

Renovation of 11, Queen Street in Great Yarmouth. Gillian Harwood.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Gillian Harwood, pictured in 2018 outside a regeneration project her company carried out at 11 Queen Street. - Credit: Antony Kelly

She said: “Industrial areas do not need to be bland, energy-wasting deserts.

“These areas will only be occupied during daylight hours and during the working week. Why not encourage the area to be somewhere that local people would come to for pleasure once the working day is done?

“That part of Great Yarmouth has an almost magical feeling to it as it stands with one of the last remaining unspoilt bit of beach and sand-dune in the south of the town.

“The area at the very tip of the land at the entrance to the Yare should be improved and opened up so people can stand and enjoy the shipping traffic coming in and out or just watch the rising sun.

View of the South Denes area of Great Yarmouth from the Outer Harbour.
Picture: James Bass

View of the South Denes area of Great Yarmouth from the Outer Harbour. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

"The last remaining dunes and the spit should not just be written off as not important for encouraging nature.

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“The harbour-mouth on the Gorleston side of the harbour is a most pleasant and lively place to be and this could so easily be matched by a quieter, more secret type of wild space on the South Denes side.”

A GYBC spokesperson said the council welcomed public feedback on the draft plans.
 
“We will consider all comments and we plan to put final proposals to elected councillors for a decision early next year.”
 
Comments on the LDOs can be made by emailing localplan@great-yarmouth.gov.uk or writing to Strategic Planning, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Town Hall, Hall Plain, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2QF, to be received before 23:59 on December 13.

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