Pleasure Beach owner delighted after councillors in Great Yarmouth approve The Edge plans
- Credit: Archant � 2007
It is a saga that has been ongoing for the best part of a decade, but it now finally looks like it may be reaching a conclusion.
The Edge development, which once completed will see Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile expanded to include a new casino and cinema, has taken a big step in the right direction.
At a meeting of Great Yarmouth Borough Council's development control committee, councillors unanimously voted in favour of the development, granting full planning permission to its first phase.
Split into three phases, the project will first see the addition of an 81-room Premier Inn and Beefeater restaurant by the Pleasure Beach, with work touted to begin in October.
Councillors also unanimously voted to grant outline planning permission for phases two and three of the development, which would see the additions of first an entertainment complex with restaurants, an indoor play area and a cinema built, followed by a 25,000sq/ft casino.
Pleasure Beach owner Albert Jones, who lodged the application said: 'I'm delighted to have got the decision to go ahead. 'Lots of hard work has gone in to getting the application to this stage, but even more hard work starts here.
'The next step now is to finalise contractors so we can be on site for the first phase of the development. Great Yarmouth Borough Council have been really supportive throughout the process so I take my hat off to them.'
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Mr Jones attended the meeting on Wednesday and embraced members of his family outside the council chambers following the decision - the third time councillors had granted planning permission to a version of The Edge.
He added: 'We could have sold the site several years ago, which we did not as we did not receive the right application. We needed to bring an all year around attraction and we have utmost confidence in the site.'
The application is a scaled back version of those initially granted in 2006 and 2011 respectively, with the hotel originally planned to have 184 beds.
The scheme is expected to create hundreds of new jobs, and Mr Jones is also hoping it will provide a boost for existing businesses.
He said: 'It is about more than just creating jobs - it was also about job security for existing business, by bringing addition traders into the town.'
Phase two of the development will see the addition of an entertainment complex including a cinema, indoor play area and restaurants.
Trevor Wainwright, borough councillor for the Magdalen ward, raised question of whether phases two and three would be delivered, given that in the past businesses to occupy the project could not be secured.
However, Nick Laister of RPS Planning and Developments, assured councillors that he was confident agreements would be reached.
He said: 'Discussions are at a very advanced stage with a cinema provider and we have reasonable confidence the second stage will be able to begin in October 2018.'
Mr Laister added the layout of the plans, which would see the cinema, restaurant and indoor play area closer to the Pleasure Beach, was designed to extend the attraction, while also giving a link between the child and adult orientated aspects of the project.