Apartments earmarked for regeneration above former McDonalds

Change of use plans have been lodged for the former Suffolk House building in London Road North, Lowestoft.

Change of use plans have been lodged for the former Suffolk House building in London Road North, Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

New apartments could be created above a former restaurant on the main approach to a town centre, provided plans get the go-ahead.

A scheme has been lodged to turn vacant offices into eight new apartments above the former McDonald's restaurant, which closed on London Road North, Lowestoft in April.

The change of use plans for the prominent three storey building would see the development retain the ground floor retail/shop units, with apartments to the first and second floors.

With all three floors of the former Suffolk House building vacant, First Equity Holding Ltd lodged change of use plans from offices to "dwelling houses", with an application submitted to East Suffolk Council currently awaiting decision.

It states: "The development consists of retention of ground floor retail and takeaway uses, with apartments to the first/second floor levels.

"The design allows for apartments with external windows for natural light and ventilation suitable for residential use."

A design and access statement submitted by agents Ian Garrett Building Design Ltd, on behalf of the applicants, for the Suffolk House building at 35-37 London Road North in Lowestoft, said the development would create four apartments on both the first and second floors.

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It states: "Currently the building is vacant at ground, first and second floors.

"The application is for the Prior Notification Approval - change of use from offices to dwelling houses for the office accommodation at the first and second floors in line with current legislation and policy.

"The ground floor accommodation will be retained for retail, shop and/or takeaway use subject to planning permissions being sought if a change of use is required.

"The change of use offers apartments within the town centre in line with the Local Plan and Lowestoft Town Centre Masterplan which looks at regeneration through conversion of upper floors within the town centre." 

Last week, Lowestoft Town Council's planning committee recommended approval of the application.

The former McDonald's restaurant in London Road North, Lowestoft was being emptied ahead of relocation to Kirkley Rise.

The former McDonald's restaurant in London Road North, Lowestoft was being emptied ahead of relocation to Kirkley Rise. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

An East Suffolk Council spokesman said: "We can confirm that this application is the McDonald’s building but we’re unable to comment further as it’s a live application."

The McDonald’s relocation notice greeting people in Lowestoft town centre. Picture: Mick Howes

The McDonald’s relocation notice greeting people at the former restaurant in Lowestoft town centre. Picture: Mick Howes - Credit: Mick Howes

The closure of the McDonald's restaurant in April shocked business leaders, shoppers and business owners as it came a day after a brand new restaurant for the fast food chain opened at Horn Hill in South Lowestoft.

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