Plan to demolish sailing school for new homes sparks objections

Sailcraft Sea School in Brancaster Staithe, pictured while it was still in operation in August 2016.

Sailcraft Sea School in Brancaster Staithe, pictured while it was still in operation in August 2016. - Credit: Google

A plan to demolish a disused west Norfolk sailing school and replace it with two new homes has sparked objections from the parish council and neighbours. 

Langton Homes Ltd has applied for permission to demolish the three buildings which comprised the former Sailcraft Sea School in Brancaster Staithe to make space for the homes. 

The school closed in December 2018, and the developer argues that the buildings are “not fit for purpose for modern commercial use”.

An earlier version of the plan proposed that each house have three bedrooms and three allocated parking spaces, but this has since been reduced to two bedrooms and two parking spaces per home.

Brancaster Parish Council, which had cited several design-related concerns about the original submitted design, said that while it “noted the improvement in terms of amenity impacts and design”, it would still prefer the site to be commercial rather than residential.

The parish council added that it still had concerns about parking and access on the site. 

Some 15 residents also objected to the original plan, similarly citing a preferred commercial use, but also expressing concern about overdevelopment and a loss of privacy.

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A couple of those residents, and parish councillor Chris Cotton, said in new written objections that they remained opposed to the amended plan. 

The former sailing school is located on the main road in Brancaster Staithe.

The former sailing school is located on the main road in Brancaster Staithe. - Credit: Google

West Norfolk borough council’s planning officers are recommending however that the demolition and homes be approved at a planning committee meeting on Monday January 10, saying they are satisfied by the evidence suggesting employment on the site is no longer viable. 

The officers add that most of the issues initially raised by the parish council and neighbours have been resolved by the revised designs.

Langton Homes director Ben Cripps said the two homes would be “modest” and that his company had “put a lot of effort into addressing issues surrounding this application”.

He added: “The parish council itself has acknowledged the improvements that have since contributed to the recommendation of approval.

“The planning officers have assessed all material issues including those originally raised by nearby residents.

“Naturally we hope that the committee will recognise the positive changes that have been made and accept the officer recommendation to grant planning permission.”

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