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‘Spectacular’ hotel could be built on Hunstanton’s South Promenade is plans are approved

A hotel with a “spectacular” raised café could become a new coastal focal point if plans to build it are approved, developers say.

However, planning officers have hinted that they would recommend councillors turn the scheme down.

Proposals to construct the facility on the existing South Promenade Long Stay Car Park on Hunstanton’s Beach Terrace Road are currently being considered by West Norfolk Council.

The car park on Hunstanton's South Promenade where the hotel would be built if plans are approved. Picture: Google Maps
The car park on Hunstanton's South Promenade where the hotel would be built if plans are approved. Picture: Google Maps

It would include a restaurant and parking area above existing retail units at the site, which are a cafe and gift shop, while there would be nine suites in the building. These are hoped to cater for solo visitors, couples and families visiting the town.

The site is a plot of land on the seafront, currently used as a privately owned car park with 21 spaces. It is adjacent to The Green, meaning it would be in a prominent town centre spot.

Following the validation of the planning application, Hunstanton Town Council has called an extraordinary full meeting to be held next Wednesday (January 3) to discuss the matter. This will be held at 6pm at the town hall.

A planning report prepared by agent Strata Architecture says the opportunities the hotel would bring include the redevelopment of a “prime seafront site”, and says it would have “minimal impact on surrounding residents”.

It does admit that a potentially noisy environment and being adjacent to several listed buildings could provide constraints.

“The site offers an exciting opportunity for the redevelopment of a key site within the town centre and the chance to substantially improve the setting of the Promenade, whilst also providing high quality town centre tourist facilities,” the report says.

“The building is set out over five floors, with the promenade and ground floors providing the development’s retail/restaurant functions, including car parking and other communal facilities

“Given the town centre location, there is little chance to provide any meaningful soft landscaping to the external perimeter of the building.

“The proposals do however allow for a substantial area at ground level of hard and soft landscaping which creates a spectacular raised café terrace providing unrivalled views out to The Wash.”

The Strata report says that the plans have been put together to ensure the character of surrounding buildings is respected while still providing a “modern and vibrant” hotel.

It would have a curved ground floor plate as its base, while each room would have a balcony.

However, planning officers have previously informally offered advice suggesting that they would recommend against approving the proposals.

They cited the loss of the car park itself, which is a community asset outlined in Hunstanton’s Neighbourhood Plan, as one of their reasons for saying so.

They also said that the potential “harm” to the surrounding conservation area would not be outweighed by the public benefit of the hotel, and made reference to the potential height of the building – which would be two floors higher than most nearby properties.

Despite that, the Strata report concludes: “The proposed development is located within the heart of the town centre with excellent pedestrian and public transport links and will provide a high quality and vibrant new hotel development.

“The proposed building will create a new focal point along the Promenade, respecting the spatial qualities of the local area, including the scale, appearance and use of spaces about and between buildings, visual relationships, views and vistas, complementing the surrounding and adjoining buildings and enhancing the commercial offerings within Hunstanton.”

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