Seafront businesses object to Great Yarmouth Gold Rush extension

Gold Rush

Gold Rush - Credit: Archant

Major seafront traders have joined forces in a call for no more arcades on Great Yarmouth's Marine Parade.

It comes after plans were submitted last month for the former Yesterday's World heritage attraction to be replaced by a family entertainment centre, as part of an extension to Gold Rush amusements.

The plan has been slammed by owners who between them run a 11 seafront attractions.

A letter was sent to Great Yarmouth Borough Council's planning department on behalf of Leisure Land, Magic City, Silver Slipper, The Mint, Golden Nugget, Circus Circus, Flamingo, the Wellington Pier complex, the Pleasure Beach, Britannia Pier and Marine Bingo.

Their main objection is over a 15-year-old borough policy which limits new amusement proposals.

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One of the owners involved, who preferred not to be named said: 'The council has had a long standing policy to limit new amusement proposals.

'The policy is still applicable today and is important in maintaining a mix of uses on Marine Parade.

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'The proposal would be against that policy and, if permitted, could open the floodgates to other similar proposals on Marine Parade and elsewhere in the borough.

'People don't come from afar just to visit arcades. Yesterday's World offered something different, it was a great heritage attraction and you need that diversity on the seafront.'

It is believed the extension into the former Yesterday's World, which would cover half of the former heritage attraction's ground space, will be home to a children's play area.

Owners of these attractions were also unhappy with work that has already been carried out before the matter is approved by the borough council's development control committee.

Two separate plans were submitted to the borough council for the work, one of which was for new signage, and the other for an associated change of use and new building frontage.

In the description of both planning applications it calls for the removal of the Yesterday's World signage, which would be replaced by the Gold Rush sign which as a result would be extended.

While work has already started on moving the sign over, a statement from Great Yarmouth Borough Council said the work is not such that they would be minded to serve a stop notice before the application is considered by the planning committee.

They added: 'These planning applications will be decided by the development control committee, most likely at the next meeting on May 25.

'As with all applications, the planning committee will consider the application on its merits in line with local and national planning policy. Public consultation comments form part of the decision-making process.'

The policy in question is the TR9 policy which was originally part of the 2001 Great Yarmouth Borough Wide Local Plan, and has been retained as part of the updated 2016 version.

The policy states that planning permission for new amusement arcades, whether involving change of use, or extension will only be permitted in the following areas:

A) Prime holiday attraction sites which are self contained units and where access to the arcade could be from within the complex

B) In prime commercial holiday complexes/areas where only changes of use within existing premises will be permitted provided there is no net increase in the total amount of floorspace or frontage used for amusement arcade purposes.

C) Holiday parks and complexes: Subject to there being a proven need and the use being solely for residents of the site.

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