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North Denes deal falls through

PUBLISHED: 10:24 15 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:09 06 July 2010

PROPOSALS to build a £4.5m seafront holiday park in Lowestoft, which was due to be open in time for the summer season, have fallen through.

It had been hoped that the North Denes site would be redeveloped and ready to open for business this summer, but now Park Holidays has decided not to go ahead with the deal.

PROPOSALS to build a £4.5m seafront holiday park in Lowestoft, which was due to be open in time for the summer season, have fallen through.

It had been hoped that the North Denes site would be redeveloped and ready to open for business this summer, but now Park Holidays has decided not to go ahead with the deal.

Last year, the holiday firm revealed it had agreed to spend £1.5m on a 99-year lease for the site and a further £3m building the park.

Now after months of negotiations to try to get work started, Park Holidays has said it is not going to develop the site because it wants to expand its existing holiday parks to meet growing demand for UK holidays.

Peter Bull, of Park, said: “Our business is going from strength to strength, and we must carefully appraise all development opportunities and their potential for helping us to realise our expansion plans and meet demand in the most efficient way.

“We will certainly be looking at Greenfield opportunities such as North Denes in the future, but with many of our parks already likely to be fully booked over the summer, developing existing parks will provide the additional capacity we require over a shorter time scale.”

Stephen Ardley, Waveney's portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “Naturally we are disappointed but fully understand why Park Holidays has made this decision. Both parties agree it is far better that this decision is taken now, prior to any building work commencing.”

Mr Ardley said the council was now looking for a new operator for the site and that the contract would be re-tendered.

The future of the North Denes has been embroiled in controversy for several years after Waveney District Council said it could no longer afford to run a caravan site there.

The Protect Our North Denes Association (Ponda) claimed the site should remain in public ownership because it had been used by the people of Lowestoft for many years and a route through the site had also been granted official public footpath status.

Waveney council spent about £400,000 on legal fees to fight challenges to its decision to sell the lease for the site and insists that bringing in a private operator is the only way to regenerate the area.

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