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Firm set to turn clock back on camp site

PUBLISHED: 11:20 11 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:50 05 July 2010

The North Denes site in June 1963

The North Denes site in June 1963

LAST month it was revealed that camping would return to the North Denes after a holiday firm agreed to transform the rundown area of seafront land.

Park Holidays UK unveiled plans to turn the area back to its heyday with nearly £5m of investment.

LAST month it was revealed that camping would return to the North Denes after a holiday firm agreed to transform the rundown area of seafront land.

Park Holidays UK unveiled plans to turn the area back to its heyday with nearly £5m of investment. The firm has agreed to spend more than £1.5m to secure the land on a 99-year lease and invest a further £3m to create a site that will feature 150 static caravans, about 70 pitches for touring caravans and an area for tents.

Up to 15,000 tourists a year are expected to flock to the North Denes site, which was formerly a council-run caravan park, when it opens at the start of the 2009 summer season.

The 33-acre site has made headline news for the past few years as the debate surrounding the site's condition and ownership rumbled on and on, but during its glory days it welcomed thousands of happy holidaymakers, who all found the area an ideal place to stay and enjoy some time at the country's most easterly point.

Consent was first granted to use the land as a caravan site in December 1953, and by March 1954, approval had been obtained for the site to be laid out for 20 caravans.

By 1959, approval had been obtained to site 50 caravans there, although they were only allowed to be occupied from April 1 to October 31.

The site continued to increase in size as planning applications for more and more caravans were passed, including one in 1961 to site 187 caravans. By 1971, the approved number of caravans on the site had risen to 275.

In 1982, pitches for 50 touring caravans had been given the go-ahead, while the year later it had been increased to 100.

The size of the site then increased dramatically from 1984, when 500 pitches for seasonal tenting and touring caravans were allowed.

It is these heady days that Park Holidays UK will be hoping to re-create along Lowestoft's seafront. It is hoped that the site will once again welcome countless families to the area for the first time, alongside those folk who return year-in year-out with the hope of yet another glorious holiday on the east coast.

Together, they will help to write a new chapter in the history of the site, as the sound of summer holidays returns to the site once more.

Do you have any pictures of happy memories from holidays at the North Denes site that you would like to share? If so, write to Turning Back the Clock, The Journal, 147 London Road North, Lowestoft NR32 1NB or e-mail richard.wood@archant.co.uk

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