Refusal recommended for firm's shipping container

Sup Shack, a paddle board hire business that was launched in Sheringham in 2020 by Lewis Gray and Sam James

Sup Shack, a paddle board hire business that was launched in Sheringham in 2020 by Lewis Gray and Sam James has lodged an application to install a semi-permanent shipping container on the town's west promenade. - Credit: Lewis Gray

A paddle board business' bid to put a shipping container on Sheringham promenade has been recommended for refusal. 

North Norfolk District Council's development committee is due to consider the application from Sup Shack for the container at a meeting on May 20.

But a council officers' report prepared ahead of the meeting suggests councillors should turn down the plans because the container would be an "incongruous form of development which would fail to conserve the special qualities and local distinctiveness of the area".

Sup Shack, which was launched last summer by Lewis Gray and Sam James, wanted to use the container which measures 6m x 2.4m x 2.4m to store their equipment between April and September.

But the idea has split public opinion, and the council has received 15 letters objecting to it, and 20 in favour.  

Many of the objections are also around the container's visual impact. One objector also said stand up paddleboards users could cause conflict with sea swimmers, particularly those who are less able to move quickly out of the way. 

But supporters have said the development would help tourism in the area, and said the container would not obstruct the obstruct main promenade thoroughfare. 

Mr Gray said while he understood some people in the town may be against the idea, there was a precedent in other seaside towns along the coastline.

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Sheringham Town Council objected to the plans. But Liz Withington, deputy mayor and district council ward councillor, said the committee should consider both sides of the argument.

She said in a submission: "This is a particularly difficult one for the town as stated by the town council who are keen to support the business and the offering for Sheringham which they saw as positive but have concerns about the location.

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Sheringham's deputy mayor and district ward councillor Liz Withington has urged development committee councillors to consider both sides of the argument. - Credit: Archant

"Sheringham needs to up its game in terms of its offering and to further build a sustainable local economy, particularly, with the growth of staycations and the need for encouraging repeat visitors.

"It is possible that there will always be compromises needed in Sheringham due to the restricted space and locations available for business development on the foreshore."