Scheme to restore 'prominent and important building' set for approval

Craig Rivett East Suffolk Council Lowestoft

Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Economic Development, at Lowestoft's former Post Office in Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

A Grade II listed building that dates back to the 19th Century and has been empty for almost four years looks set to be given a new lease of life. 

A scheme to restore the "historic character" of Lowestoft’s former Post Office, now owned by East Suffolk Council, will be voted on next week.

Plans to restore the façade of Lowestoft’s former Post Office on London Road North will be discussed at a meeting of East Suffolk Council’s Planning Committee North next Tuesday, November 9.

Lowestoft's former post office in the town centre

Lowestoft's former post office in the town centre remains empty. - Credit: Mick Howes

Having been closed in Lowestoft town centre, and remained vacant since 2018, proposals submitted by agents Chaplin Farrant Ltd on behalf of Rebecca Styles, the HAZ Project Officer at the council, centre around "Conservation repairs to the former post office, new ground floor fenestration and entrance doors".

The scheme also includes "Removal of external ramp, installation of new ramp to front entrance," as well as "Repairs and replacement, to external building fabric."

Plans will be discussed next week as part of a full application and a tandem listed building application as "the scheme is primarily one of repair and refurbishment."

Councillors will be told planning officers recommend approval of both applications.

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The former Post Office building was purchased by the council in 2018 as part of a wider programme to boost regeneration in the town centre.

Located within the London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone - a heritage-led regeneration project led by East Suffolk Council in partnership with Historic England, Lowestoft Town Council and East Suffolk Building Preservation Trust - it is set within the South Lowestoft Conservation Area.

It was built as a central Post Office for the town and served to combine several of the more provincial post offices which existed across the town prior to the 1880s.

Lowestoft’s former Post Office on London Road North

Lowestoft’s former Post Office on London Road North. - Credit: Mick Howes

After plans were lodged in September, Craig Rivett, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Economic Development, said:  "By carrying out this restoration work to the façade, we will not only improve its appearance significantly, but we will also help ensure that this wonderful piece of architecture and history can be enjoyed by future generations for years to come.”

With the recommendation for “authority to delegate determination to the Head of Planning and Coastal Management to approve with conditions,” it concludes: "The proposed works will be a positive outcome for the Conservation Area, because the Old Post Office is a prominent and important building."

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