Former offices to be demolished as new homes bid is approved

The former Shaw Trust offices in Milton Road East, Lowestoft.

The former Shaw Trust offices in Milton Road East, Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

New homes are set to be built at a vacant site that has been empty for more than two years.

Former offices close to Lowestoft town centre will be demolished after permission was granted by councillors.

On Tuesday, March 8, East Suffolk Council's planning committee north unanimously approved plans for a scheme that would see six new homes built to be available for affordable rent.

The vacant former Shaw Trust offices, close to Lowestoft town centre, closed at the end of 2019 and have been empty ever since.

Now, a new lease of life looks set to be in store as plans centring around the "Development of six, two-bed dwellings after demolition of existing building" at 15-18 Milton Road East in Lowestoft were "approved unanimously."

A scheme submitted by agents Rees Pryer Architects last November, on behalf of the applicant East Suffolk Council, was approved subject to conditions, despite one objection citing "loss of privacy due to proximity of properties".

The former Shaw Trust offices in Lowestoft.

The former Shaw Trust offices in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

It will mean the existing single storey office building, which has been vacant since 2019, will be demolished with "six, two-bedroom properties with associated parking and outdoor amenity space" built.

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With the properties set to "form part of the council's housing portfolio" they will be available for affordable rent.

The council's senior planning officer Iain Robertson said: "The key issues of principle is considered acceptable in this location and also it will be an important contribution to the council's housing stock.

"The design is also considered to be an enhancement on what currently exists on site."

The former Shaw Trust offices in Lowestoft.

The former Shaw Trust offices in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

In September 2020 plans were lodged to convert the former offices into four new retail sites.

But with that scheme subsequently withdrawn in August 2021, this new application was lodged last year with the design and access statement citing the earmarked site "is an excellent opportunity to deliver six much needed two bedroom homes."

East Suffolk councillor Jenny Ceresa said: "It's good to see that we have a vacant site that is going to be used for families that are in much need of housing in the local area."