Plans to convert public buldings into social housing in Great Yarmouth

Trafalgar House on Hall Plain in Great Yarmouth could be transformed into social housing. Picture:

Trafalgar House on Hall Plain in Great Yarmouth could be transformed into social housing. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2012

Plans to turn two of Great Yarmouth's former public buildings into social housing have been submitted.

Saffron Housing and Wellington Construction want to convert Trafalgar House in Hall Plain, along with the neighbouring old fire station, into 29 homes - two one-bedroom cottages, 11 one-bedroom flats and 16 two-bedroom flats.

The proposals went on show to the public at Yarmouth Town Hall on Monday and have now been formally submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Council staff moved out of Trafalgar House last November. It was revealed at the time that cost of securing and maintaining the buildings while empty could have run to more than £100,000 a year.

'It's a very exciting development and I am sure it will be supported,' said Councillor Penny Linden, cabinet member for communities.


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'After the council moved things around and relocated staff, these buildings became a bit redundant.

'We received an offer from Saffron Housing and Wellington Construction and it seemed like an excellent idea for them to try and get some social housing there.'

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John Whitelock, director of new business at Saffron Housing, said the buildings would 'sympathetically converted' and the construction would support the local economy.

Paul Pitcher, managing director of Lowestoft-based Wellington Construction - the firm behind the £1.2m Bridgepoint project near Haven Bridge in 2005/06 and the £1.9m Boulton Regeneration of buildings in North Quay in 2008/09, said the company was 'proud' to be involved and will work closely with borough's Conservation Team.

Neither building is listed, but Trafalgar House is thought to have been built around 1938 as a municipal building.

The station is older but remodelled in 1912 by renowned architect John Cockrill, who was also the designer of Great Yarmouth School of Art in Trafalgar Road.

The redevelopment plans do not include on-site parking, but there are proposals for a bicycle storage area and a communal garden.

• Update: At a meeting last night (Thursday), council leaders confirmed they had sold Trafalgar House and the old fire station to Saffron Housing for £1.

'We we're told the properties were worth around £00,000 but that it would take five years to sell,' said council leader Trevor Wainwright, speaking at the town hall open meeting.

'We did marketing exercise which proved fruitless and no one came forward.

'The buildings would have cost us £130,000 a year to maintain in security, maintenance and insurance so we made the decision to sell to Saffron for £1, then Saffron and Wellington Construction would put in a lot of their own funding to create these 29 units.

'It's really a win-win situation.

'What we didn't want was another boarded up building in town which might have happened had we sold to a private developer.'

Councillor Brian Walker, member for resources, added: 'We did not want to sell the buildings to a developer who would have left them boarded for five years until they were ready to do something.'

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