Great Yarmouth Borough Council to consult on detailed planning vision for new restaurant and café quarter at Hall Quay
GREAT Yarmouth Borough Council is to consult on a detailed planning vision to help unlock the potential of one of the town centre's historic spaces - as a new restaurant and café quarter supporting the evening economy.
Hall Quay, the town's traditional banking area, has changed in recent years, with many of the banks having relocated to the Market Place, leaving several large, empty historic premises which the council would like to see brought back into use. As a key junction adjoining Haven Bridge, the area is currently dominated by traffic and street furniture.
But with the planned Third River Crossing bringing the prospect of significantly reduced congestion from 2023, Hall Quay is now prime for investment and revitalisation as a new food and drink hub for the town centre, further enhanced by its historic riverside setting, listed buildings within a Conservation Area and medieval rows.
With this vision already promoted in the Town Centre Masterplan, adopted in 2017, the council has now drafted a planning brief, a supporting document providing further clarity to help landowners, developers and investors to understand the council's ambitions and expectations for Hall Quay in terms of type, size and form of future development, assisting those seeking planning consent for new buildings or changes to existing.
In addition to guiding and supporting future development and investment opportunities, the planning brief will provide guidance to Norfolk County Council to implement major planned public realm and highways investment that will benefit the area, including re-landscaping of Hall Quay to make it more pedestrian-friendly and enable outdoor seating and dining outside the front of buildings.
The draft planning brief positively encourages new café and restaurant uses on the ground floor of several units, in addition to supporting high quality residential units on upper floors, while continuing to encourage ground floor retail and commercial premises. The document also highlights the potential to grow further hotelier uses in Hall Quay, to support the borough's growing visitor economy.
In addition to protecting the medieval rows, the draft planning brief encourages improvements to be made to the façades of several units when any future conversions or changes of use occur, with any new developments being well designed and complimenting nearby historic buildings.
The consultation runs from Monday, February 18 to Sunday, March 17. Those wishing to view the draft and take part can either do so online at Planning Consultation or by visiting an exhibition that will be positioned at Town Hall during the four weeks, where paper feedback forms will be available. Once finalised the planning brief will be adopted by the Council as a Supplementary Planning Document, carrying weight in planning decisions.
Cllr Graham Plant, the council leader, said: "With its historic riverside setting, Hall Quay is one of our town centre's most special spaces and has huge potential to become a much-needed new restaurant and café quarter, supporting the evening economy and benefitting our residents, visitors and the wider town centre regeneration.
"Building upon the exciting vision already set out in the Town Centre Masterplan, this draft planning, together with the planned highways investment, will help to guide and boost investor confidence in the area. It provides a stronger platform for the council and our partners to lever in investment, supporting our proactive engagement with grant funders and prospective restaurant, retail or café operators. I hope that everyone backs this ambition in the consultation."