Chance to give views on waterfront plans
AMBITIOUS proposals to transform swathes of Lowestoft's run-down waterfront and create up to 1,000 new jobs within the next 15 years have been unveiled.
Plans for more than 1,500 new homes, a new primary school, and new retail and food outlets, are all included within the Lowestoft Lake Lothing and Outer Harbour Area Action Plan (AAP).
And now the views of businesses and residents are being sought on the proposals, which also include plans for the town's public transport network, a much-vaunted third crossing, a new Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood development and controversial plans to move Lowestoft Railway Station.
The AAP, which covers the harbour, Lake Lothing and Kirkley waterfront areas, was first drawn up after consultations with stakeholders and the public in March 2006. The final version, prepared by Waveney District Council and the Urban Regeneration Company 1st East, is now available to view online, prior to the final submission to the secretary of state in January 2011.
The document forsees 'provision of 1,585 new homes', with the main residential development focused within the Kirkley Waterfront and the Sustainable Urban Neighbour- hood.
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This is earmarked to cover 59 hectares and include a 'continuing care retirement community', primary school, marina facilities, a hotel, retail, restaurants, bars and cafes on the south bank of Lake Lothing between the waterfront and Victoria Road/Waveney Drive.
Policies on employment, the local economy, housing, retail, environment, heritage and transport are also addressed, with development concentrated on PowerPark; Peto Square; Kirkley Waterfront and the new Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood (SUN); East of England Park, and Kirkley Rise.
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In September last year, 1st East commissioned the 'Lowestoft Station and North Peto Square Feasibility Study of Development Options' to consider the future of the town's trail station.
'This identified a preferred approach that would see the station move 40m to the south and 80m to the west, utilising the area of disused sidings, to facilitate town centre expansion,' the AAP states.
This has led to the so-called 'Lowestoft Station Interchange.'
'Lowestoft Railway Station will be improved and enhanced during the AAP plan period to provide improved passenger facilities and a rail/bus/taxi interchange,' it adds.
Other ideas to improve public transport include the proposed creation of an enhanced rail/bus/taxi/cycle interchange at Lowestoft Station with sheltered waiting facilities, seating and real-time information; the introduction of high frequency shuttle bus services connecting key sites; and investigating the viability of permanent park and ride facilities and even water-borne public transport, such as water taxis.
However, the third crossing of Lake Lothing 'is unlikely to come forward by 2025'.
'This is expected to come forward beyond the AAP plan period and will be subject to further feasibility work by the highways authorities.
'However, it will be expected that developers will work with the council to ensure that proposals will not restrict the future potential for a new road crossing,' the report states.
With public views now being sought, Waveney's council's strategic director, Stephen Archer, said: 'The Area Action Plan reflects a shared ambition to enhance and renew a wide area of Lowestoft.'
l Representations can be made online via www.consult.waveney.gov.uk with hard copy representation forms and accompanying guidance notes available to download via www.waveney.gov.uk/LDF or these can be obtained by calling 01502 523029. All views and comments must be submitted by 5pm on December 17. A public hearing for the document is scheduled for April next year.