Demolition work starts at old factory site where retail park will open
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:50 23 March 2018
Work has started on a multi-million pound development in south Lowestoft which will see a vacant factory site turned into a retail park.
New life will be breathed into the former Zephyr Cams factory site, on Tower Road, with a number of nationally renowned retailers confirmed to be moving in.
These include a drive-through Costa, Aldi, The Range, Card Factory, Greggs, Subway and Jollyes Pets. The £9.3m redevelopment is due to open under the new name Gateway Retail Park by March next year.
TPS, acting as development and project managers on behalf of Freshwater Group, secured planning in April 2016 after Waveney District Council voted unanimously in favour of the scheme. Mark Newton, development director for TPS, said: “The development will not only breathe life into a derelict site but will also bring a diverse and new range of retail offers to the town centre. The fact that we have started on site with most of the space pre-let is a testament to the hard work of the team involved.”
The area has been derelict for many years after the factory closed in 2002. Mark Bee, leader of Waveney District Council, said: “The scheme will create up to 155 new jobs whilst bringing an estimated £26m to the area’s economy. The council have been working with TPS and Freshwater for a number of years now and it is fantastic that works have now started. This is an important entrance into the town and will greatly improve what is currently an eyesore as you enter the town from the south.”
The application was approved despite concerns that it could affect town centre trade.
Danny Steel, chairman of Lowestoft Vision - the town’s business improvement district, said: “The new retail park including The Range is a good addition to the Lowestoft retail offering but it is another blow to the town centre. The employment opportunities the new shops will generate have got to be welcomed but I wonder if it will result in job losses elsewhere.
“This new development and the popularity of the North Quay Retail Park underlines the fact that Lowestoft Vision needs to continue working hard to make the town centre attractive and safe for local shoppers and visitors and to organise more events and attractions to encourage people into the town.”