Could last empty unit at Gateway Retail Park be filled soon?
- Credit: Mick Howes
A new store could be unveiled in a unit on a retail park that has stood empty since it was first built.
Since opening more than two years ago, one unit at the Gateway Retail Park in Lowestoft has remained vacant.
Now a tenant has come forward for the only unoccupied unit at the 10,000 sq ft retail park on Tower Road in south Lowestoft, according to plans lodged with East Suffolk Council.
After the Gym Group opened its fourth centre in Norfolk and Suffolk, a 24-hour gym was officially opened in an empty unit on the retail park in March 2020.
That left just Unit 3 remaining as the final unoccupied unit at the retail park, which was opened in July 2019 and features Aldi, The Range, Greggs, Card Factory, Subway and a Costa drive thru.
It is unknown who the interested tenant is, but proposals centring around a variation of conditions have been entered.
While the applicant has not been listed, and is unknown, agents Freeths LLP are acting on their behalf as the plans are currently awaiting decision with the council.
The application states that Freeths is acting on behalf of Metropolitan Properties Investments Limites, and is seeking to allow a wider range of goods to be sold from the unit.
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It states: "A tenant has come forward with the potential to occupy Unit 3, but requires a larger range of goods to be sold than that which is restricted by condition five of the operational planning permission."
It adds: "The proposal will not result in an increase in floorspace from that already permitted.
"It simply allows for a small element of the existing floorspace to be used for the sale of additional goods currently restricted by condition five."
The retail park was unveiled on two hectares of land that had lain vacant for 18 years having been formerly occupied by the Zephyr Cams factory.
It cost just under £9.3m to build the retail park.
With the area having been derelict since the factory closed in 2002, the Gateway plans were first revealed in 2014 and planning approval was granted in December 2016.
The council is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks.