Hotel 'excited' to reopen with new terrace - but neighbours are unimpressed

Cliff Hotel, Gorleston. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Cliff Hotel, Gorleston. Picture: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A Gorleston hotel is turning unruly shrub land into an outdoor seating area ahead of reopening - but elderly neighbours overlooking the site say it will spoil their quality of life.

The Cliff Hotel first announced plans to "improve the hotel inside and out" last September when they began clearing the space in front of neighbouring retirement complex Grenfell Court. 

Terrace work at the Cliff Hotel in Gorleston

Work being done to the land outside Grenfell Court along Gorleston cliffs earlier this week - Credit: Submitted

new terrace Grenfell Court

Work taking place for the new terrace outside a resident's home in Grenfell Court - Credit: Submitted

After planting a row of hedging at the back of the clifftop area, the space was left untouched for months. However, activity has resumed - with the hotel releasing more information about the project they hope will turn 2021 into a bumper year.

In a statement, a hotel spokesperson said: "We are sprucing up our main terrace ready for April 12, but something else we have been working on is the area to the right of this.

"With such amazing views of Gorleston's beautiful beach we hope to use this area as extra seating. We have removed all the old grass, waste and shrubland and are in the process of laying down artificial grass for a cleaner, modern look."

Residents of the over-55s housing association, however, are feeling more anxious than excited.

The view from Grenfell Court near Gorleston's Cliff Hotel. Residents of the court think that new pro

The former view from Grenfell Court near Gorleston's Cliff Hotel. The new terrace will take up the land to the right of the fence, where a row of hedges has since been planted - Credit: Archant

Odette Martin, 60, moved to Grenfell Court "specifically for the view" alongside her husband Mike as part of a London-based retirement relocation scheme.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council has already said there is no "high hedges legislation" allowing it to intervene with the hotel's tree planting, however it did say it was working with the owner to establish whether planning permission was needed for the terrace.

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This is due to the government's increasing relaxation of planning legislation to support recovery of the hospitality sector.

Grenfell Court residents stand in front of the newly-planted trees, which eventually will form a den

Grenfell Court residents stand in front of the newly-planted trees last September, which eventually will form a dense hedge between the terrace and the court - Credit: Archant

"We totally understand that The Cliff is a business," Ms Martin said, "but our homes will be directly overlooking this terrace and we're terrified about such an invasion of privacy.

"On top of that, the hedges restrict our view and this is only going to get worse as they grow taller.

"Most of us are house-bound, severely disabled or terminally ill. We rely on peace, quiet and especially the view as a community in the summer. We sit out there together and that's what keeps us going."

Odette Martin (left), resident of Grenfell Court's retirement estate, sits with Paula Bishop, who li

Odette Martin (left), resident of Grenfell Court's retirement estate, sits with Paula Bishop, who lives with her 89-year-old mother also at Grenfell Court. This was their view before the trees were planted last September - Credit: Archant

Lilian Warman, 84, has cancer and limited mobility. She lives next door to the Cliff, and says the terrace will be roughly five yards from her back windows.

"I know that the people of Gorleston will welcome this change and for them it will be nice, but we are the ones who have to live right beside it and can't get away from it," she explained.

A council spokesperson said any noise or anti-social behaviour complaints linked to the hotel after April 12 would be investigated and dealt with.

Lilian Warman, 84, said most residents struggle to get out now and spend a lot of their time sitting

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