New developments could rise from the ashes at former factory site hit by blaze

PUBLISHED: 10:59 03 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:59 03 February 2017

The former Wessex Foods site on the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate.

The former Wessex Foods site on the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate.

Archant © 2011

It was a devastating blaze that led to 150 people losing their jobs as a prominent food factory was destroyed.

BACK THEN: Fire crews battle to contain the blaze at Wessex Foods in July 10. Picture: MICK HOWESBACK THEN: Fire crews battle to contain the blaze at Wessex Foods in July 10. Picture: MICK HOWES

But now, almost six-and-a-half years on from the destruction of the Wessex Foods factory, new developments could be set to rise from the ashes.

Plans have been submitted to Waveney District Council for the Phoenix Enterprise Park – a new light industrial development at part of the site on the South Lowestoft Industrial Estate.

With the scheme providing “commercial units of a variety of sizes,” an application – which is currently awaiting decision – was submitted last month by Suffolk County Council.

The site in Hadenham Road is included in the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft Enterprise Zone under the New Anglia LEP – the region’s local enterprise partnership – and is covered by a Local Development Order.

The county council purchased the land last year, in partnership with New Anglia LEP, and a council spokesman said the site was “for the use of businesses to drive economic growth of the town and area.”

The spokesman added: “These will be business units for firms to rent and use. Further development of the site will include the opportunity for firms to base themselves on a long term basis. We would welcome any enquiries from prospective business interested in the use of the site through the site agents.”

A design and access statement submitted by Concertus Design and Property Consultants, on behalf of the county council, states: “Proposed development on the site consists of 23 commercial units of a variety of sizes, designed in such a way that they can be expanded or divided as a business grows or contracts and depending on the market demand.”

Welcoming the proposals, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: “I think it is very good news that after a long time – and no blame lies with Suffolk County Council for that – a planning application has been submitted for this site.

“When you look at the development at Mobbs Way, it 
has been extremely successful and its right that now a similar scheme is provided in south Lowestoft.

“I think its important to have a choice of sites right around the area and this is a very important development. There is a clear demand for people wanting to start up new businesses or expand existing ones – bringing new jobs to the area.”

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