Council considers feedback from more than 200 people for new Water and Leisure Complex
MORE than 200 people have shared their views on the exciting concept designs for a new destination water and leisure complex planned for Great Yarmouth seafront, which will be a major year-round boost to the flagship coastal resort whilst supporting community health and well-being. The level of responses and turn-out at the drop-in sessions was really positive.
Under the plans by Great Yarmouth Borough Council, the famous Golden Mile is set for a once-in-a-generation investment to benefit the seafront and whole borough for up to 40 years, acting as a catalyst for further investment and an important community hub for the promotion of both indoor and outdoor physical activity.
Significant project development work, already undertaken with a design team of architects and sports consultants, identifies that a new and improved centre on the site of the existing Marina Centre is better value for money than refurbishing the existing, or re-building in a different location, and also minimises impact on the seafront during works.
Over the last two weeks, people have been invited to view exhibition boards on display in the Marina Centre and Gorleston Library, to meet the design team at one of three drop-in sessions and to share their views. People could also take part via the council's website, where information remains available at www.great-yarmouth.gov.uk/golden-mile
Feedback will now be considered by the project's design team and members' working group ahead of finalising the design for the new facility. On April 23, full council will consider a final design with a view to moving the project to the next stage of its development. This includes committing the required funding and submission of a planning application.
Cllr Graham Plant and Cllr Trevor Wainwright, the political group leaders, said: "The council would like to thank everyone, the many residents, centre users, clubs and businesses, who have participated in the public engagement, viewed the concept designs and provided their really vital feedback.
"This public engagement has been an important listening process for the council. People's valuable feedback will be considered over the coming weeks to help shape the look and feel of a final design for the new facility, which will then be subject to formal public consultation as part of the planning application process.
"We are really pleased with the level of turnout at the drop-in sessions and there's genuine excitement about the water and leisure complex, which represents a major investment for the benefit of the seafront and whole borough for 40 years, supporting the year-round visitor economy, further investment and community well-being.
"Overall, we sense that people welcome this major investment in our borough, with the architectural design being well received. There is now detailed feedback to be considered and decisions to be made. To do nothing would result in a large empty building in a prime site on the seafront, as the Marina Centre is an ageing inefficient building, nearing the end of its life. We're also aware that we need to continue to engage with specific user groups who have fed back specific concerns.
"While we appreciate there will be unavoidable temporary disruption for users, which we will work our hardest to minimise, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a facility for the 21st century which will bring so many benefits for the seafront and residents across the borough for decades to come. The council is committed to continuing to keep everyone updated on progress over the coming months."
With the agreement of full council, a planning application will be submitted in the summer. Subject to planning approval, the Marina Centre is currently scheduled to close in October 2019, with on-site work starting before Christmas. All being well, the new water & leisure complex will be open for summer 2021. The indicative cost for the development is £20m to 26m.