Fire safety warning over plan for site of old Hunstanton club
Fire safety concerns have been raised about the proposed redevelopment of the site of a former Hunstanton entertainment venue, which was itself destroyed in a blaze.
More than two decades have now passed since the fire which gutted the Kit Kat club in Seagate. The building was later demolished.
Developers are now seeking planning permission for a six storey building, housing three shops and 16 flats, on the vacant site.
Officials have recommended that the scheme is approved, subject to the completion of legal agreements, at a West Norfolk Council planning meeting next Monday, August 10.
But a report published ahead of that meeting reveals members of Hunstanton's Civic Society say they are worried about the safety of would-be residents if the scheme is approved.
The application envisages three retail units at ground level, with the housing accommodated on five floors above that.
The group said: "If the main staircase is not usable there is no obvious means of escape from the top two floors.
"There are only three fire engines in Norfolk capable of dealing with a fire or evacuation at that height."
In response, planning officials reported that the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was asked for its opinion of the application, but had chosen not to comment.
But they added: "It is pertinent to note that they confirmed there is equipment capable of accessing the top of the building."
The report said that assurance had been given in relation to an earlier proposal for the site, which was given planning permission in 2011.
Concerns have also been raised about the scale of the development compared to nearby buildings, the extent to which it may conflict with future developments of the area as part of the borough council's masterplan partnership with the designer Wayne Hemingway and a perceived lack of parking for residents.
Hunstanton's town council said that, while 16 parking spaces were planned, there could be a total of 58 vehicles across the 16 properties.
It said: "The current application is under spaced by a substantial amount of parking spaces."
But the report concluded: "The proposed scheme is considered to be of good quality design and materials and is considered to satisfy the requirements of planning policy and guidance and is in line with the overall objectives of the Masterplan.
"The concept is modern and looks to the future which deliberately contrasts with the existing traditional Victorian and Edwardian architecture found within the town.
"The design is considered to be acceptable in terms of scale, height, massing, alignment, materials, and there will be no significant harm to the character or appearance of the nearby Conservation Area."