New homes and retail unit bid for vacant former Tesco store

The former Tesco store on London Road North, Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

The former Tesco store on London Road North, Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

A new bid has been lodged to redevelop a prominent former Tesco building that has been empty for more than two years.

After the popular Tesco Metro store closed in Lowestoft town centre on September 28, 2019 following decades of serving the community, the building has remained vacant ever since.

A new lease of life was earmarked in May 2020 as a scheme for almost 40 homes and three retail units was lodged with East Suffolk Council.

The former Tesco Metro store remains an empty property in Lowestoft town centre.

The former Tesco Metro store remains an empty property in Lowestoft town centre. - Credit: Mick Howes

However the new homes and retail units bid for the former Tesco Metro building at 119-125 London Road North, Lowestoft was withdrawn in March last year.

Now a fresh scheme has been submitted to the council, addressing "some concerns" raised with the previous application.

An impression of the proposed scheme for the Tesco store in Lowestoft.

An impression of the proposed scheme for the former Tesco store in Lowestoft. - Credit: Morse Webb Architects

Centring around "redevelopment of the site to provide a mixed use development retaining commercial floorspace (Class E) at ground floor level," the plans also include: "Part demolition of first floor and conversion of part ground, first and second floor to provide Class C3 residential units with enabling fenestration alterations, ancillary amenity space, cycle and car parking, refuse storage, access and other associated works."

A planning statement submitted by agents JMS Planning & Development Ltd on behalf of the applicants Lowestoft Developments Limited is currently "awaiting decision."

The former Tesco store on London Road North, Lowestoft.

The former Tesco store on London Road North, Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

It states: "Since the application was withdrawn, the applicant has made significant changes to the scheme to directly address the concerns raised during the consultation phase of the previously submitted application.

"This has included amending the design and removing the proposed upward extension in order to maintain the existing height of the building."

The revised scheme proposes 23 apartments - a mix of studio, one and two bedroom units - which would "be provided at ground, first and second floor levels" with a "communal amenity space (193 sq m)" provided at roof level on the first floor.

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With the proposal maintaining "1,346 sq m of commercial floorspace fronting onto London Road North", it concludes: "It is considered that the submitted application is of significant merit, namely it will contribute additional homes in Lowestoft, it will enable a prominent vacant building within the town centre to be re-used and it will contribute to maintaining the vitality and viability of the town centre."