Hemsby Pontins plans revealed

Anthony CarrollPlans to build up to 200 homes and a care home on one of the region's iconic holiday camps got a mixed reception last night.Anthony Carroll

Plans to build up to 200 homes and a care home on one of the region's iconic holiday camps got a mixed reception last night.

Dozens of residents of Hemsby, near Yarmouth visited the former Pontins holiday camp to examine the results of a public consultation into what should become of the site.

A series of eye catching display boards showed proposals to replace more than 400 holiday chalets with between 150 and 200 homes, a care home, family pub, village green and children's play area.

The exhibition had been organised by the land owners the Northern Trust after Pontins closed in January with the loss of 55 jobs due to the recession. In the first hour about 60 curious villagers had perused the plans.

A Northern Trust display board stated that keeping the camp site as a holiday park may not be the most economically beneficial option for the area.

Plans for the new homes, 40 bed care home and civic amenities were taken from the responses of 200 villagers who had responded to a wide-ranging consultation.

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However last night many villagers demanded the site stay as a holiday camp or park.

Although some people supported the homes scheme, there were some negative comments about the impact on the local infrastructure, including roads, schools, doctors and dentists.

Gillian Cunniffe, 67, said: 'I think it is absolutely disgusting. It was a holiday camp and should remain a holiday camp. Hemsby is not large enough to take 200 homes - it is developed enough now.'

Rosemary Wyard, 57, also criticised the plans by saying the village's infrastructure could not cope as it was - especially the sewage system.

Other residents welcomed the homes scheme, albeit on a smaller scheme, and the opening up the site to the community, including possibly keeping the camp's swimming pool.

Noel Galer said he hoped any new development would also include small business units to bolster the local economy and a proposal to fund allotments for the village.

The exhibition, which also runs today, is phase two of a long running consultation plans still in its early stages.

A Northern Trust display board stated: 'A tourism re-use may not necessarily be the most beneficial option for the local community.

'A positive mixed use redevelopment of the site could include community and recreational facilities.

'As a large central site in a prominent and accessible location close to the village shopping centre it is ideally suited to provide facilities which would benefit the wider community.'

Stephen Glenn, Northern Trust land executive, said the exhibition had had a very mixed response and that he was pleased so many residents had expressed an interest in the displays.

The Northern Trust consultation plans will be on display in the former Pontins between 11.30am and 2.30pm today.