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Architects defend project

PUBLISHED: 12:01 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:08 05 July 2010

Architects behind a controversial waterside development in Lowestoft have defended their plans after continued opposition to the project.

Earlier this month it was reported that the Broads Authority had criticised the proposals while residents have gathered at public meetings to voice their opposition to the plans for the Brooke Marina site.

Architects behind a controversial waterside development in Lowestoft have defended their plans after continued opposition to the project.

Earlier this month it was reported that the Broads Authority had criticised the proposals while residents have gathered at public meetings to voice their opposition to the plans for the Brooke Marina site.

There have been claims that the 650 new homes, offices and industrial units will be a blot on the landscape, while fears that navigation along the Broads would be hindered and traffic congestion caused on roads.

Paul Uttley, director of architects PRC, said the plans were not set in stone and that consultations would be carried out with residents and groups such as the Broads Authority.

He added: “The last thing we would ever want to do is hinder navigation. We want to encourage people through to the Broads and use the navigation channel.

“The density of the buildings in that location fully conforms to government guidelines and the council and 1st East Urban Regeneration Company's objective to maximise the use of urban brownfield sites.

“If we don't use them, land has to be found somewhere and that puts pressure on the countryside.”

Mr Uttley, who has attended several public meetings regarding the plans, said PRC would take into account any objections.

“The intention is to work with people; we don't want to step on anyone's toes and we want to go ahead with their blessing. We have shared objectives,” he added.

Mike Warner, who lives near the site, said many local residents were in agreement with the Broads Authority. He said the scale of the development, which includes a 20-storey tower, was not just an eyesore but would impact on people's homes.

“We've got one tower block in Lowestoft already and this one will be even taller. It doesn't fit in with the area. People bought these houses to not be overlooked.”

Mr Warner said that while a planned cycle bridge over Lake Lothing would not affect homeowners directly, there was still concern it could jeopardise local business if it was a hindrance to boats. He said that traffic congestion was also a major concern.

“If the development goes ahead there will be a huge amount of materials brought in by road. Heath Road can't cope with that amount of traffic and if we have foundation problems, our insurance won't cover that.”

“I think the area does need developing but in such a way that they consider our viewpoint.”

The final decision for the plans will be taken by Waveney District Council.

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