Demolition bid brings concerns of a wasteland and an eyesore
Fears have been voiced that a beauty spot in one of the coast's most popular tourist resorts could descend into a wasteland for years to come if controversial plans to demolish a landmark building are approved.
Doug Smith, who represents the Sheringham North ward on North Norfolk District Council, spoke out after Beeston Regis-based developer Huddies applied for permission to knock down the former Shannocks Hotel, which has stood empty at the end of the High Street for several years.
He claimed plans to demolish the three-storey seafront property, which sits in the town centre conservation area, should be rejected until plans for a suitable replacement have been approved. Mr Smith said: 'I am strongly opposed to this application for several reasons. The Shannocks Hotel building creates a natural end to the row of buildings on this side of the High Street.
'Facing the sea it forms a prominent charming feature in Sheringham's conservation area.
'Simply demolishing the building could create a wasteground eyesore for years to come.
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'This application is putting the cart before the horse. I would urge the committee to refuse demolition before a suitable replacement building has planning permission approval.'
Sheringham Town Council's planning committee also voiced its opposition to the plans when it met on Tuesday night.
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Members heard the crumbling seafront building, which has been branded a blight on the local landscape, was beyond repair.
Sheringham mayor David Gooch said: 'I have had my ear bent on this more than anything; everyone is, like me, cynical and they don't want it demolished until there is a concrete plan in place to replace it.'
Huddies insisted it was 'fully committed' to developing the site. It revealed the demolition was just the first stage of a new development which would include a mixture of retail, restaurant and residential uses and enhance the town centre.