Police warning after Sprowston burglaries

Police are urging residents to keep their doors and windows locked after two homes were burgled in Sprowston.
Between 11.25pm on Tuesday, July 18, and 7am on Wednesday , July 19, properties on Colindeep Lane and Recreation Ground Road were entered through unlocked doors and an Ipad, cash and the contents of a handbag were stolen.
Broadland Engagement Officer PC Andy Mason says people need to be more security conscious during the summer months.
“During the warm weather windows and doors will often be opened but it is important to make sure they are shut and locked when your home is left empty and before you go to sleep. Criminals are opportunists who will seize any chance they get to take advantage of an insecure residence. Don’t give them that opportunity.”
If you saw anything suspicious during those times, contact Det Con Scott Malcolmson on 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


‘Vibrant’ new look for former Sheringham seafront hotel

A first-floor restaurant with panoramic views over the promenade and the sea will be an integral part of a development planned for the site of the former Shannocks Hotel in Sheringham.
Wymondham-based architects Lucas Hickman Smith have designed plans for owners Huddies to transform the derelict hotel on the seafront into vibrant new building with the restaurant, shops and flats in keeping with the town’s heritage and the nearby buildings.
The ground-floor retail units, first-floor restaurant and residential apartments on the upper floors will all have sea views to take advantage of its position overlooking the beach.
Company director Andrew Roper said: “We believe the application proposes a vibrant, forward-looking new building, of high architectural quality and demonstrating a clear link to Sheringham’s heritage and its immediate context.
“We are keen for local life to be enhanced by the proposed development, and in particular that the wider community should have the opportunity to enjoy the expansive views over the promenade, the beach and the sea that are offered by the site’s location.”
An application for full planning permission has been submitted to North Norfolk District Council and comes at a time when the council was considering applying for a compulsory purchase order on the site for an alternative development, incorporating the site of the Former Shannocks Hotel and the adjacent Chequers Car Park, which is owned by NNDC.
Judy Oliver, for NNDC, said: “As per the last cabinet decision, we are maintaining pressure on the owners to move forward with development, by putting our own development proposals forward for planning approval, along with a voluntary offer to purchase the derelict hotel from them.”
However, Huddies has urged it to rethink its proposals in light of its application.
“The acquiring authority pays all of the costs of the CPO and the public inquiry, and is usually ordered to pay a successful objector’s legal and professional costs,” said Mr Roper, adding it would “not be in the interests of local ratepayers”.
John Western, a director at Lucas Hickman Smith architects said the company had looked at re-developing the current building but that it was in too poor a state. He said: “The fabric and structure are in a bad state and there are issues with salt saturation.”Mr Roper said: “Retention and renovation of existing buildings is not always an option and the professional and expert opinion received by the company is that this cannot be justified, and would detrimentally impact upon the viability of the scheme. NNDC’s alternative scheme, which was displayed at a consultation event in December, suggests that they have received similar advice from their own property advisors.
“In addition, the existing building’s solid wall construction precludes most forms of thermal insulation and, together with a permeable external skin, has meant that the building has been unable to resist salt spray in its exposed location, leading to significant damp problems.
“The company’s objective of achieving a high level of thermal and environmental performance from the building can only be achieved through demolition and redevelopment.”
If the plans are approved, which the site’s owner expects will take approximately three months, it is hoped work could start before the end of the year, though the developers, who bought the site in late 2010, said that works would steer clear of the summer season.
Mr Roper said: “We are keen to ensure that we minimise disruption to local businesses during the tourist season, and this approach was supported by NNDC when we submitted our project execution plan to them in September of last year.”
He added: “The site is significant in the context of Sheringham and North Norfolk, and the company is fully committed to providing this positive, contemporary addition to the town, which it fully expects will benefit the local community, providing employment in the ground and first-floor commercial spaces, improving the commercial viability of the high street, attracting visitors to the town and presenting a bright, optimistic and forward-looking vision for the seafront and the town.”
The council earlier this month said it could stop the compulsory purchase order at any time if the current site owners were seen to be taking action to tidy up the area.

Summer concert plans for historic coastal hall

ABBA, Elvis, an orchestra, picnics and (hopefully) sunshine.

That’s the plan for two outdoor concerts to be held at Cromer Hall this summer.

Over the weekend of August 5 and 6, the 40-piece British Symphony Orchestra will be joined on stage by professional tribute band ABBA Revival on the Saturday night and by top Elvis impersonator Gordon Hendrix for the Sunday evening.

The concerts have been organised by Radio Norfolk presenter Nick Conrad and Martin Lord, a former director at ITV.

“It’s a wonderful setting for some first-rate music,” said Nick. “Even those who are not fans of these artists will love these concerts.”

Gordon Hendrix won Stars in Their Eyes in 2005 as Elvis and has gone on to great success, including recording in Memphis.

Nick said: “His voice is so close to the original that Elvis’s management company has used him to record vocals for them. So it should be a real treat for any of the King’s fans.”

ABBA Revival have recently toured India and Eastern Europe are one of the top ABBA tributes in the world.

The Music of ABBA will be held on Saturday, August 5, with music starting from 6.45pm and gates opening at 5pm to give people a chance to settle down with their picnics. The Sunday Music of Elvis event sees an earlier start of 6.15pm with gates opening at 4pm.

The dates have been organised by CLGroup Companies and it is hoped they will become an annual event at Cromer and at Haughley Park in Suffolk.

Nick said: “These kind of open-air concerts have become extremely popular and we’re hoping for a party feel with some great music for all ages to enjoy.”

Music fans will be able to hear the likes of Elvis classics such as The Wonder of You with soothing strings and All Shook Up with punchy percussion as well as Dancing Queen from ABBA with the brass section of The British Symphony Orchestra.

“It’s well known that Elvis always dreamed of performing with a symphony orchestra and two ago Elvis Presley Enterprises embarked on just that with his back catalogue. This is a tribute to that and to the singer’s ongoing popularity,” said Nick.

THE BSO is made up from some of the UK’s most revered and talented musicians, who appear all over the UK playing the classics as well as new compositions.

Conductor Philip MacKenzie has recently worked with the Crimean State Symphony Orchestra as well as around the globe in Singapore, Bombay and South Africa. He recently conducted the Moscow TV and Radio State Orchestra and a chorus from the Kirov Opera in a sell-out performance in Moscow.

Cromer Hall owner Benjie Cabbell Manners said he was looking forward to welcoming people to Home Park. “I’m thrilled that the British Symphoney orchestra will be appearing at Cromer Hall,” he said.

Organisers have been working closely with North Norfolk District Council and local residents to look at planning, traffic and noise measures “The council could not have been more helpful with advice to help this concert run smoothly,” said Nick.

Just Regional, which publishes magazines along the coast, into the Broads and around Norwich, has teamed up with the organisers as media sponsor for the event.

Readers of the Just magzines can get a special price for tickets booked up until the end of March. These early-bird specials are priced at £30 instead of the normal price of £38 after that date. Book at or call the ticket line on 0333 666 3366.

£10,000 available for youth activities this summer – applications open

The Broadland district Youth Advisory Board (YAB) has £10,000 available to fund activities for young people over the summer holidays. There is a maximum of £1000 available per group and all activities must be delivered in Broadland to young people aged 11-25. Continue reading