Residents in Hemsby met this week to discuss the long-running saga of the neglect of the former Pontins site in the village. I am delighted that they are taking community action on this issue and I am offering them all the assistance I can to get this problem resolved.
This is real localism in action, local people taking control and doing their bit to help the village and wider borough.
Hemsby is a fantastic village and has a great tourism offer, but it is currently being let down by the Northern Trust, who have allowed the former Pontins site to fall into wrack and ruin. It is essential that a long-term solution is found, and I strongly believe that the council are right to ensure this solution is not just giving up and covering the whole 22 acres with more houses. We can all assume that Northern Trust does not want to retain a significant tourism provision, but their claims that the site is not viable is contradicted by the multi-million-pound investment recently announced by Richardsons in Hemsby.
In the short term, the priority must be to work towards getting the site secure – the landowners, Northern Trust, have a moral obligation to do to so. But, should they continue to fail in this duty, it is essential that our local councils explore all possible enforcement options including compulsory purchasing the site, and that as a community we work to bring as much pressure as possible upon the owners.
To do so it is essential that we involve the wider community in Hemsby as much as possible, as such I intend to conduct a community survey addressed to every registered elector within the village of Hemsby, which will allow us to properly demonstrate popular opinion and allow the new group to be advertised to local people.