Scheme unveiled to revive former Tuttles building

Tuttles Lowestoft

Photograph from the 1970s showing the continuous Tuttles fascia that united the building. - Credit: Suffolk Record Office

A landmark building that dates back to the late 1880s could soon get a new lease of life.

Plans have been lodged with a scheme to revive the former Tuttles Department Store building in Lowestoft.

Two applications, including non-illuminated advertisement consent, were submitted to East Suffolk Council in December centring around "repairs and alterations" to the landmark Station Square building at 18 - 32 London Road North in Lowestoft.

Proposals "to remove the signs and replace" form part of the scheme of works to refurbish one of Lowestoft's most prominent buildings.

The distinctive former department store on the approach to Lowestoft town centre was a popular destination for shoppers from across town, north Suffolk and beyond.

Tuttles store Lowestoft

The exterior of the former Tuttles store in Lowestoft. - Credit: Archant library

In October East Suffolk Council said that "concept designs" were being developed with the owners of Tuttles for "the first and second floor windows to the central bay of the building".

A council spokesman said: "The London Road, Lowestoft High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) is supporting the building owner and is offering support through the conservation grant scheme to move this project forward."

Two applications from the developers are awaiting a decision.

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Design and access statements submitted to East Suffolk Council by agents Purcell Architecture Ltd, on behalf of the applicant Chris Trindall, says: "The former Tuttles building is not listed but is considered a non-designated heritage asset.

"The works relate to the central bay of the west elevation and include the reinstatement of the shopfronts and refurbishment.

"The aim of the proposed works is to enhance the building's appearance, have a beneficial
impact on the immediate setting of the Conservation Area and nearby listed buildings which is important given its prominence across Station Square.

"Since the closure of the Tuttles Department store, there has been some modifications to the façade that in their current condition have low aesthetic value.

"By removing the first-floor windows, timber and rendered façade, and reconstructing in brick, it will greatly improve the aesthetic value and unity of the facade.

"The proposals also ensure the building fabric is in good repair and minimises the risk of
further loss of historic fabric and deterioration of the façade."

Joseph Conrad, Lowestoft Pictures: MICK HOWES

Joseph Conrad, Lowestoft Pictures: MICK HOWES - Credit: Archant

Today, the area is known locally as “Tuttles Corner” and features the popular Joseph Conrad pub, after the Tuttles Bon Marche department store, which had its base there from the late 19th century until its closure in 1981.