New lease of life for prestigious retail store at prominent pub site
PUBLISHED: 16:14 23 March 2020 | UPDATED: 16:15 23 March 2020
New shops and flats could be built as part of plans to transform a former pub and prestigious retailer.
The family retail store Coes of Lowestoft shut its doors in the town in May last year after 50 years of trading.
At the time the chain’s directors blamed winter disruptions from emergency roadworks, infrastruture and accessibility issues.
Now plans centring around “change of use from shop to flats, sub-division of existing shop into two smaller shops” have been lodged by Oakes Estates Ltd for the site at 118-119 Bevan Street East in Lowestoft.
Having remained empty since its closure almost a year ago, a design and access statement submitted by agent Ian Garrett Building Design Ltd on behalf of the applicants states: “118 Bevan Street East ceased use as a ladies clothes shop on April 30 last year.
“119 Bevan Street East use ceased on April 30 last year as the former Coes Menswear clothing shop.”
With 119 Bevan Street East currently available to let, as it is marketed by Steel & Co Commercial Property Services, it adds: “The building was formerly a public house known as The Old Clapham Arms, but converted into a men’s clothing shop during 2005 when Coes obtained the building and secured planning permissions for change of use.
“Vast investment was carried out on the building with further investment during 2014.
“However the large single retail unit could not be maintained and the Lowestoft branch of this successful company ceased.”
With the site area listed as 716m sq, the proposals states: “118 Bevan Street East – No change to the ground floor layout. The shop is currently advertised awaiting a new tenant. This shop is below part of the upper floor shop/retail area of the Coes shop unit.
“119 Bevan Street East – Ground floor: To sub-divide the ground floor shop into two more manageable shop units for rent. This will include toilets to each and separation of the stairs to the upper first floor from the retail ground floor areas.
“First floor: The proposals will create four single self-contained flat units with access via the ground floor entries to the flats via stairs/door opening to the east and west.
“Car parking in a secure gated location to the north of the building will be retained.”
The application comes after new retail units and eight flats were proposed last month to convert the former Lowestoft Electrical store into new flats and three units for small businesses.