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Retirement apartments risk turning Lowestoft into ‘Spanish holiday resort’, councillors warned

PUBLISHED: 10:02 16 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:30 16 October 2018

Shaftesbury Court in Lowestoft, which is proposed to be replaced by a four storey block of retirement homes. Picture: Google

Shaftesbury Court in Lowestoft, which is proposed to be replaced by a four storey block of retirement homes. Picture: Google

Google

Plans to build 30 retirement apartments on the seafront site of a former special needs care home have been recommended for refusal ahead of a key vote on the project.

Waveney District Council’s planning committee will meet today (16) to discuss proposals to demolish the Shaftesbury Court site on Rectory Road, Lowestoft, where Sanctuary Supported Living hope to build flats for over-55s.

In a report prepared ahead of tomorrow’s meeting, councillors have been warned the plans risk causing parking problems in the area.

The report says: “There is no compliance with affordable housing policy but, more significantly, the 30 units now proposed is deficient in parking in an area where there is parking stress.

“During hot weather, all available parking is in use, and parents are using this site for school drop-off.

“The new homes create extra parking demand and there is insufficient parking in that scheme.

“Space is required on site for emergency services, doctors, paramedics, ambulance or fire brigade and for gardeners, cleaners, home help and window cleaners.

“Many elderly people still like to drive, but as vehicles might not be used as often, they could be parked for long periods.

“Three storey developments are too high to be in proportion to the locality. It triples the height of the existing building and would be the same height as the gutter line of Kingswear Court, diagonally opposite.

“The seafront will feel like a Spanish package holiday resort.”

The plans propose 27 two bedroom appartments and three one bedroom apartments with 20 car parking spaces.

In February the council’s highways department called for 44 parking spaces for the 30 appartment plan.

The latest proposal comes after original plans for a four-storey, 40 home development were revised and ultimately withdrawn.

Shaftesbury Court provided support for up to 15 adults and was built in the 1970s.

The former care home’s facilities have since been transferred to Clover Court, Sanctuary’s flagship phyisical disability service following the £3.7 million development on Gordon Road.

A spokesperson for Sanctuary Supported Living has been contacted for comment.

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