‘When is Nandos coming to Yarmouth?’ Residents have their say on town centre masterplan

Cllr James Bensly and strategic planners Nick Fountain and David Glason help gather the public's vie

Cllr James Bensly and strategic planners Nick Fountain and David Glason help gather the public's views on a new masterplan which sets out a vision for Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Liz Coates

A vision of what Great Yarmouth could look like in 2035 has been set out to shoppers as the council seeks their views.

Hall Plain

Hall Plain - Credit: Archant

People in Market Gates were presented with images and boards detailing the plans at the first of two drop-ins there on Wednesday.

They were able to discuss the scheme with officers and asked questions like 'When will Yarmouth get a Nandos?' as well as saying they wanted to see more shops

The masterplan - which contains some significant proposals - was unveiled in December aimed at re-booting the ailing town centre and lifting the evening economy.

Among those manning the consultation event was borough councillor James Bensly.

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He said he had found nothing but enthusiasm for the ideas which include a cinema plan for the car park behind King Street, a re-modelled market, and improved lighting and prominence for the historic Rows.

Adding to the envisaged ambience will be a bustling Hall Quay where empty banks will host restaurants and bars looking out on an improved civic space making the most of the landmark town hall which dominates the street scene.

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Eileen Harris of Shakespeare Road in Yarmouth was among those who took the time to study the boards and chat with officers.

She was against the cinema plan saying more shops were needed.

She said: 'Nobody comes to Yarmouth we would rather go to Norwich, there is plenty going on there.'

Strategic planner Nick Fountain was on hand to chat to passers-by.

He said people were generally pleased that a vision for the future of the town centre was being tabled.

'We have had a steady flow of people and a number of online responses as well. There has been quite a bit of interest,' he said.

David Glason, group manager for growth at the borough council, said that everything being put forward was commercially realistic.

The masterplan had been put together using experts in the town planning field that had delivered similar projects elsewhere including at Thetford riverside.

Using 'fantastic intelligence' the proposal had not been 'plucked out of the air' but tailored to Yarmouth.

One of the main drivers, he said, was to increase 'dwell time' in the town by giving people a reason to stay on into the evening.

Nothing, he added, had been set in stone and public opinion would help shape the final document and strategy to attract investors.

The second event at Market Gates will be on Wednesday January 25, 10-3pm.

To respond online visit https://great-yarmouth.gov.uk/have-your-say.

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