Homes plan for Lowestoft’s former fire station

PROPOSALS to develop a former fire station site in Lowestoft with 32 new homes look set to be given the green light.

Planners from Waveney District Council are recommending approval of the Badger Building (E. Anglia) Ltd residential development of the former fire station in Normanston Drive.

The council's development control committee is set to meet at the Town Hall on Tuesday to discuss the plans, which centre around 'a mixture of 20 houses, six bungalows and six flats' being built along with the 'creation of new access' onto Normanston Drive.

A planning report to councillors says the site covers 2.4 acres (1ha) 'comprising brownfield land as it was, until earlier this year, occupied by a fire station, which has recently been demolished.'

With the recently-built one-bay fire station remaining on the southern side of the site, the proposal seeks permission for 'the construction of 26 dwellings, comprising four two-bedroom, 11 three-bedroom and 11 four-bedroom houses and bungalows and six flats, comprising four one-bed and two two-bed.'

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The report adds: 'It is proposed to provide five houses and six flats as affordable housing.'

A public exhibition of the plans was held in September, with staff from Badger Building in attendance, along with 53 residents.

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Comments arising from this meeting are included in the planning report – with initial 'fierce opposition' leading to a petition from residents 'about the provision of a link to Greenacre Crescent,' and other concerns raised.

This 'footpath/cycleway link to Greenacre Crescent' had however been subsequently revised by the applicant and had been deleted from the planning application.

The report adds: 'The originally-proposed cycle and pedestrian link between the new development and Greenacre Crescent has been deleted and substituted by a two-way shared pedestrian/cycle way between the application site and High Beech.'

With Suffolk County Council advising that a financial contribution is required to fund five primary school places, which the applicant is willing to accept, the report adds that the applicant will provide some funds for public open space, for use at the nearby Normanston Park, while they need to investigate the possible provision of community space on the site.

In recommending approval of the scheme, the report concludes: 'Planning permission be granted subject to the completion of a Section 106 agreement in respect of affordable housing, education places, libraries contribution and open space payment together with (various other) conditions.'

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