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‘Spiteful retaliation’ - Hotel accused of planting tall trees to ‘take away’ residents’ view

PUBLISHED: 14:30 12 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:12 13 September 2020

Grenfell Court residents stand in front of the newly-planted trees, which eventually will form a dense hedge that they believe will block their view entirely. Photo: Sarah Burgess

Grenfell Court residents stand in front of the newly-planted trees, which eventually will form a dense hedge that they believe will block their view entirely. Photo: Sarah Burgess

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Neighbours of a coastal hotel say they are “disgusted” at its attempt to “take away their view” by planting trees behind their garden fence.

Residents of Grenfell Court. Left to right: Ron Ward (91), Mike Martin (71), Dennis Boddy (58) and Ronald Bell (92). Photo: Sarah BurgessResidents of Grenfell Court. Left to right: Ron Ward (91), Mike Martin (71), Dennis Boddy (58) and Ronald Bell (92). Photo: Sarah Burgess

Residents of Grenfell Court’s over-55s housing association, who live next to Gorleston’s Cliff Hotel, came home on September 7 to find a dense row of newly-planted hedges at the bottom of their garden.

According to Grenfell Court resident Lilian Eiffert, 87, this is an act of “spiteful retaliation” by the Cliff Hotel.

“It’s disgusting. We objected to their cabin proposals and they didn’t like it. So now they’re taking away our view.

“You spend your early years suffering through a war and your final years putting up with this nonsense.”

The trees were planted on Monday, September 7. Residents said they had no warning it would happen. A label on the tree read: The trees were planted on Monday, September 7. Residents said they had no warning it would happen. A label on the tree read: "Green Leylandii - fast growing evergreen hedger. Grows rapidly to form a dense screen." Photo: Sarah Burgess

MORE: Hotel neighbours object to outdoor cabin proposals

The hotel submitted an application to Great Yarmouth Borough Council on July 3 to build seven garden cabins “overooking the sea” - but announced via their Facebook page they were withdrawing the plans following opposition.

Instead, they said they would build a garden terrace - for which they already have planning permission.

But according to Great Yarmouth Borough Council, consent for a conservatory extension and roof terrace at 14-18 Lower Esplanade Gorleston, granted in 2016 as part of a change of use application, cannot simply be carried over.

They said: “Planning applications are site-specific and it would not allow a terrace on the separate area of land that is the subject of the Cliff Hotel’s most recent application.”

Lilian Warman, 84, said most residents struggle to get out now and spend a lot of their time sitting overlooking Gorleston Cliffs. Photo: Sarah BurgessLilian Warman, 84, said most residents struggle to get out now and spend a lot of their time sitting overlooking Gorleston Cliffs. Photo: Sarah Burgess

MORE: Hotel axes holiday cabin plans after opposition from neighbours

The council did, however, say there was no specific “high hedges legislation” which would enable them to intervene with the hotel’s tree planting.

For Lilian Warman, who is 84 and terminally ill, residents “rely on the view to keep them going”.

She said: “The trees have already blocked the view for ground floor residents, but soon none of us will be able to see out over the cliffs.”

Betty Knott, 83, said that her “biggest fear” was what the hotel would do next.

Jackie Mackleworth, 69, said she was upset by the Cliff Hotel's actions and that residents had a right to object to the cabin proposal if they wanted to. Photo: Sarah BurgessJackie Mackleworth, 69, said she was upset by the Cliff Hotel's actions and that residents had a right to object to the cabin proposal if they wanted to. Photo: Sarah Burgess

She said “The hotel originally cleared the trees to give us this view, that’s true. But they did that for their terrace guests who wanted to look out over the sea - not for our benefit.

“It’s clear that since they say they gave us it, they feel it’s their prerogative to take it away.

“My worry is what they’ve got planned for us next.”

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Dennis Boddy, 58, said his older friends at Grenfell Court - some of whom are over 90 - did “not deserve” this treatment from the hotel.

He said: “It’s making them upset, frustrated and anxious and the hotel needs to see that.”

In response to the accusations, the Cliff Hotel said it did not want to comment.

Hazel McCarthy, 79, said she thought it was spiteful of the hotel to 'deliberately try' to antagonise residents. Photo: Sarah BurgessHazel McCarthy, 79, said she thought it was spiteful of the hotel to 'deliberately try' to antagonise residents. Photo: Sarah Burgess


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