Council to press ahead with Sheringham eyesore redevelopment
Council bosses intend to press ahead with plans to redevelop a derelict hotel on Sheringham seafront via a compulsory purchase order , if necessary.
North Norfolk District Council will lodge a planning application for the old Shannocks Hotel later this month, as part of ongoing efforts to secure a viable future for the landmark site.
The current owner, Huddies Ltd, submitted its own planning application last month, however, if the firm's plans are not delivered, NNDC is committed to securing redevelopment itself via a compulsory purchase of the site. A council spokesman said it was committed to the redevelopment one way or another.
Judy Oliver, NNDC cabinet member for legal services, said: 'It is absolutely essential this site is brought back into use and that the current blight on the centre of the town is removed, and we will maintain pressure to that end.'
The district council previously committed almost £500,000 of its budget to the compulsory purchase of the site.
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However, it received a mixed response to its own plans to redevelop the site, which included the neighbouring car park, into nine apartments and ground-floor commercial units following a public exhibition.
A spokesman for Beeston Regis-based Huddies Ltd said it expected a decision on its own application by June, and was fully committed to redeveloping the site.
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A spokesman added: 'Before spending additional sums on a controversial and unnecessary planning application, we urge NNDC to consider its fiduciary duty not to be imprudent with the money it collects from ratepayers.
'Huddies Ltd considers that a compulsory purchase of the site is plainly unnecessary, and fully expects that any such application by the council would be refused.'
Sheringham Town councillors welcomed the developer's plans to replace the eyesore with a 'vibrant, forward-looking building' at a meeting earlier this month. Members heard the new three-storey development would include ground-floor retail units, a first-floor restaurant and residential apartments on the upper floors.
A CPO is a last resort for councils where there is no reasonably available legal remedy to deal with properties which cause blight.
In order to have a CPO confirmed, the council also needs to have a viable development plan.
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