Holiday lodges bid for hotel that could become 'uninhabitable' due to coastal erosion

Outside the Sea Marge Hotel

The Sea marge in Overstrand, as it looks today. - Credit: Supplied by the Sea Marge

A hotel owner is bidding to install seven holiday lodges instead of building a multi-million pound extension over fears the building itself could become "uninhabitable" due to coastal erosion. 

Marc MacKenzie, owner of the Sea Marge Hotel in Overstrand, has applied to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to install the holiday lodges at the rear of the building.

In 1999, the Grade-II listed hotel got approval to build an extension of sixteen bedrooms and a kitchen.

Marc Mackenzie at The Links

File picture of Marc MacKenzie, owner of the Sea Marge Hotel in Overstrand. - Credit: Archant

The kitchen was built - but Mr MacKenzie is now seeking to revoke the remainder of the permission in lieu of approval for the seven lodges.

A document supporting the application states: "It is recognised that as a result of coastal erosion it would not make economic sense to invest in a multi-million pound extension which would probably need to be demolished before the costs of construction had been met."

In contrast, the proposed lodges could be relocated and moved off site if necessary.

"The Sea Marge hotel requires significant expenditure to maintain it and it is also recognised that as a consequence of coastal erosion, the hotel will eventually become uninhabitable," the document says.

"This has affected the applicant's desire to complete the approved extensions to the hotel, which incorporated a new wing on the northeastern corner."

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The lodges, which have a limited lifespan of 15 to 20 years, would each have a double bedroom and a bunk room, shower room and kitchenette and seating area.

The hotel foundations tumbling down the cliffs. Picture: Lynn Padmore

The foundation of the Overstrand Hotel falling down the cliff in 2018. - Credit: Lynn Padmore

Should the Sea Marge become uninhabitable, it would not be the first hotel in the village to fall victim to the sea.

In 2018, the remains of the Overstrand Hotel, which burned down in 1947, were finally claimed by coastal erosion when the building's foundation slipped down the cliffs.

Last year, a massive cliff fall at Trimingham left three caravans perilously close to the edge.

While shoreline management plans mean the line will be held at Sheringham, Wells, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Cromer, in the long term there will be no intervention at all for stretches from Overstrand to Mundesley, Kelling to Sheringham and Gorleston to Hopton.