Paddle board business' bid for seafront storage container splits opinion

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 hire business' application to put a shipping container on Sheringham promenade has divided public opinion.

Sup Shack, which was launched in Sheringham by Lewis Gray and Sam James last summer, has lodged an application with North Norfolk District Council to install a semi-permanent shipping container on the west promenade.

If given the go-ahead, the 6m x 2.4m x 2.4m structure would be located on the promenade in front of the sheltered seating area and would be used by the duo for equipment storage between April and September.

But the bid has divided local opinion and attracted opposition from Sheringham Town Council which has objected to the proposal because of the "significant visual impact" on the seafront a large shipping container would have at "one of the most popular and visually attractive access points to the seafront".

The council said: "STC support local business and the enterprising work of the water sports team, who ran a successful season during a challenging year, and hope that an alternate suggestion may be put forward."

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Others have also raised concerns about the visual impact of the storage unit.

While showing their support for local enterprise, those making a formal objection to the proposal said they felt a "big container on the prom [would be] an eyesore" and "a metal storage container, of any colour, would look completely incongruous."

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

Sup Shack, based on Sheringham seafront launched in 2020. The business is hoping to build on the success of its first year by installing a seasonal equipment storage unit on the west promenade. - Credit: Lewis Gray

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Mr Gray said while he understood some people in the town may be against the idea of a shipping container on the sea-front, there was a precedent in other seaside towns along the coastline.

He said it would be a "crying shame" to have the application declined over "aesthetics" and urged people to look at the "bigger picture" of the positive impact the business would have on the town.

He said: "We believe we could bring a brilliant asset to the town, [paddle boarding] is something for all ages to get out and about, it can increase physical and mental health, especially after the lockdown and it's something we believed would be a great thing for Sheringham.

"It's new, it's fresh, it's something the town has been lacking for a long time."

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