New vision for seaside eyesore - but owners say they're sticking with their own plans
PUBLISHED: 16:13 25 January 2018 | UPDATED: 13:53 26 January 2018
Fresh plans to knock down a derelict seaside hotel and put up a new building have been given the green light, putting it in conflict with an earlier scheme that had already been approved for the site.
North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) development committee voted 9-4 today (Thursday, January 25) to redevelop Sheringham’s former Shannocks Hotel, which has sat vacant on High Street for more than 10 years and has been dubbed an eyesore.
The plans - which the council itself lodged - will see the 100-plus-year-old hotel demolished and a new four-storey building with four shops on the ground floor and 10 flats above it.
The scheme will mean the loss of the adjacent Chequers car park - part of which will be turned into new residents’ parking.
And although some residents and business objected to the plan because of this, the council carried out a survey finding there would still be enough car parking in the town to meet peak demand.
Nicol Perryman, Ingleton Wood LLP planner, spoke for the NNDC plans, saying: “The proposed development will make better use of the site and significantly improve the public realm in this important location. The loss of the car parking has been fully considered and mitigated.”
Two of Chequers’ 26 spots are disabled spaces, but the council has said it will replace these with two at its East Cliff car park and two more at the Morris Street car park.
MORE: Seafront eyesore to be demolished
However, the council had also approved a bid by Beeston Regis-based developer and site owner Huddies Ltd to redevelop the building in October last year.
But earlier in January, the council’s legal team, Eastlaw, warned Huddies they were moving too slowly, and so NNDC’s own proposal to compulsorily purchase the land and redevelop the site reached committee stage.
But a Huddies spokesman said they planned to forge on with their own plans in defiance of the new NNDC approval.
A spokesman said: “The company remains fully committed to redevelopment of its site at 1 High Street, Sheringham.
Huddies Ltd received planning permission to redevelop its property on October 25 last year and continues to progress towards implementing this permission. North Norfolk District Council’s alternative proposals, a purely academic exercise which has cost local ratepayers in excess of £42,000, has no impact upon the company’s plans.”
Long-running battle over historic site
The NNDC plan for the Shannocks site has larger footprint than Huddies’ own plans, which would have retained the Chequers car park.
The council’s design would see an emphasis on ‘natural’ materials used with cobbled flintwork and plain red bricks.
NNDC has had a long-running battle with Huddies over the future of the former Shannocks Hotel. In 2016 they took the company to court for failing to comply with a notice to improve the run-down building.
The firm was fined £900 by Norwich Magistrate’s, ordered to pay the council’s prosecution costs of £2,700 and a victim surcharge of £90.
The council set aside almost £500,000 for a compulsory purchase order to buy the site from Huddies if it failed to make a move on redeveloping the site.
The Shannocks , which was built around the turn of the 20th century, was originally known as the Sea View Hotel.