Part of Splash site to be sold for new hotel

Sheringham leisure centre Splash, which will be replaced by a new, £12.6 million facility. Photo: KA

Sheringham leisure centre Splash, which will be replaced by a new, £12.6 million facility. Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Part of a leisure centre site will be sold to make way for a possible hotel.

North Norfolk District councillors agreed at a cabinet meeting on Monday, March 2 to sell about one acre of the Splash site in Sheringham.

A replacement leisure centre with swimming pools, gym, studios, skate park and café is being built on the remaining part of the 3.5 acre site.

A report to cabinet said the council had received a formal offer from a local development company to acquire the freehold of the site, for an apart-hotel development.

And a recommendation to sell off the land with funds generated to enable the leisure development on adjacent land, was unanimously approved by councillors.

However, there was some concern expressed by councillor Liz Withington, for Sheringham North, that no housing would be built on the site. She said: "There are 265 households in the high priority group for Sheringham."

Council leader Sarah Butikofer admitted they would have progressed the project differently if the plans had come to them originally, and not been inherited from the previous administration.

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An apartment hotel is a serviced apartment complex that is similar to renting an apartment, but with no fixed contracts and occupants can check out whenever they wish.

The report said: "The council received interest from a local development company for the acquisition of the site for a hotel development at the end of 2018.

"At the time they were seeking to work with a local hotel operator, however since this time they have changed the model of the hotel, which has enabled them to further increase their offer."

The report added that, with work on the new site due to finish next summer, it was time for the council to consider the new offer, alongside other possible options.

The current offer would generate a capital receipt for the council, support the tourism sector, economy and create a range of employment opportunities, it said.

When the new centre is completed, the existing building will be demolished to make way for a car park.

The swimming pool at Splash is currently closed for repairs.