Former Hemsby Pontins holiday camp is tidied up
- Credit: James Bass
An eyesore former holiday camp has been cleaned up after intervention by the local authority.
The 2,440-capacity camp in Hemsby has been empty since 2008 when Pontin's closed it 'following a period of sustained operating losses'.
Grass was overgrown , it was full of weeds and a number of break-ins have been reported this year.
But following negotiations between Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the property agent for the site it has been tidied up.
After receiving complaints from the public about the condition of the privately-owned site, the borough council asked for improvements to the former Pontins site, which closed in recent years.
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Now this gateway site, in Beach Road, has been spruced up at the instruction of Northern Trust, the site's agent, following discussions with the authority. The council did not pay for any of the work.
If this informal agreement had not been reached, the borough had the option to serve a legal notice ordering the responsible party to undertake the work by a certain date, or else face criminal prosecution.
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In October this year, the borough council used these legal powers to press for improvements to Vauxhall House, next to the railway station, which must be upgraded by January 20, 2014.
The agreement over the Pontins site required the boarded-up windows to be painted white, the grass, weeds and low-lying vegetation to be cut to ground level, and the hedge along Back Market Lane to be cut. This was completed during November.
Cllr Trevor Wainwright, the leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: 'The former Pontins site is a prominent property, visible on the main route through Hemsby, so its appearance influences how residents and visitors feel about the borough.
'This site has been a persistent cause of public concern since it was vacated. And although there's been some minimal maintenance, these negotiations have secured a more comprehensive schedule of works which should alleviate the visual harm.
'Discussions are ongoing to agree a long-term viable use for the site, but in the meantime the borough council will work with the agent to ensure it does not fall below our standards.'
The former Pontins site is 8.877 hectares (21.94 acres), with an extensive road frontage. The central leisure and entertainment facilities extend overall to approximately 6,785 sq m (73,033 sq ft). Chalet accommodation for 2,440 people is provided within 512 chalets.