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Bid to keep campus safe from floods

PUBLISHED: 11:28 23 May 2008 | UPDATED: 20:27 05 July 2010

Project managers of the £52.7m Waveney Campus in Lowestoft are hoping to raise it out of the reach of floodwaters in the hope of making planning permission easier.

Project managers of the £52.7m Waveney Campus in Lowestoft are hoping to raise it out of the reach of floodwaters in the hope of making planning permission easier.

The site proposed for the council and science headquarters, at the banks of Lake Lothing off Riverside Road, is within an area at risk of flooding. Now a new application outlines plans to raise the land by four metres in preparation for the building work.

The Waveney Campus will house 1,000 staff from Waveney District Council, Suffolk County Council and the Cefas marine science laboratory and will help keep jobs in the town.

A spokesman for Waveney District Council said the work would not increase the project's budget. He said: “The cost of the works is approximately £240,000 and this is being met from contingencies within the existing budget.”

A previous application to raise the land was refused as the Environment Agency (EA) needed proof that this would not put nearby developments at greater risk. The latest proposal has been recommended for approval, although the EA response will only be reported when the plans are discussed at committee.

The planning report says: “This application will allow raising of the site to meet the four metre area of development floor slab level required by the EA. This is an important preparatory application for the buildings and layout which is anticipated shortly.

“Flooding is the key issue in relation to the land raising proposal as it seeks to allow the building slab level to be outside the floodplain…The proposal also has implications for traffic movements during the land raising operation, habitats, archaeology and removal of asbestos from buildings on the site.”

Archaeological work will have to be carried out and any finds recorded before work can start. Another hurdle is that a scheme for protecting homes on Waveney Drive from noise must first be submitted and approved by the council.

The plans will be decided at a planning meeting at Beccles Public Hall on Wednesday at 6pm.

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