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Plans for new homes on former doctors’ surgery site labelled a ‘missed opportunity’

PUBLISHED: 14:02 08 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:27 10 December 2018

The former Cromer Group Practice surgery. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

The former Cromer Group Practice surgery. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

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Plans have been drawn up to replace a former doctors’ surgery and pharmacy in Cromer with nine new two-storey homes.

But a North Norfolk District Council officer has described the proposed design as a “missed opportunity” to create something more contemporary and interesting.

Cromer Group Practice has applied to the council to demolish its former base in Overstrand Road, and build five two-bedroom houses and four two-bedroom flats, accessed via new cul-de-sac off Warnes Close.

The practice relocated to a new building opposite Cromer and District Hospital in Mill Road earlier this year.

A design and access statement says of proposal: “Design cues have been taken from the current building, with the use of hips and shallow pitched roofs. Although the building form is traditional, contemporary detailing will lift it above the ordinary.”

The former Cromer Group Practice surgery. Picture: STUART ANDERSONThe former Cromer Group Practice surgery. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

The homes would also feature balconies with views over Cromer Cricket Club’s pitch next door.

But Gary Linder, the council’s major projects team leader, said in a response to the application that the proposed designs were: “An uncomfortable mix of traditional and contemporary design”.

Mr Linder added that a more modern design could be of greater benefit to the area, but did not suggest a different use for the land other than housing.

He said in the letter: “Given that this part of Cromer consists of a mix of architectural styles and periods of build it is considered that this site presents an opportunity to lift the stand of architecture in the area with a truly contemporary style scheme.

A general view of the new Cromer Group Practice building. Picture: STUART ANDERSONA general view of the new Cromer Group Practice building. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

“The proposed mix of architectural styles and detailing which can only be described as a safe neo-traditional, the development is considered to be a missed opportunity and that a more contemporary style of development which sits more comfortably in the street scene should be considered.”

Nigel Pearce, councillor for Suffield Park ward, commented in a written submission that while he was not against the plans, he felt the area should be for “low cost starter homes and rental”, and he was concerned by the number of the trees that would have to be removed.

He said: “Local people require as much help as possible in the current times and feel that this is a good opportunity for that.”

The full application and responses can be found online at www.north-norfolk.gov.uk.

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