Search

Plans for landmark building in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 09:20 10 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:42 06 July 2010

A LANDMARK building, dubbed one of Suffolk's ugliest constructions, could soon become home to a new shop as part of a major expansion plan for the Asda supermarket, in Lowestoft.

A LANDMARK building, dubbed one of Suffolk's ugliest constructions, could soon become home to a new shop as part of a major expansion plan for the Asda supermarket, in Lowestoft.

The building, on the Belvedere Road Retail Park, off Horn Hill, has been empty ever since Asda opened its doors to shoppers in 2005.

It was originally restricted for use only as a factory outlet centre, but now plans have been tabled to change the terms of use for the building to make it available to a wider range of traders in the hope that tenants will take it on and create new jobs in the town.

Tom McGarry, Asda's property communications manager, said that if the building is taken on as a shop, it could create up to 60 new jobs. It was originally built as part of a £30m development to regenerate the town's South Quay.

The design of the building, which was branded one of the ugliest in Suffolk by the Suffolk Preservation Society in 2006, will also be changed to make it more attractive in the hope that it will be occupied as soon as possible.

He said: “The Asda store has contributed to the regeneration of this area of Lowestoft. We want to free up the use of the vacant retail unit and provide basis for further regeneration.

“Unfortunately there has been no interest in the unit as a factory outlet centre. We need to look at the restrictions on that unit to ensure that we can bring in retailers and continue the regeneration of the area.

“Loosening the restrictions on the use of the unit will generate new jobs and support the town. It is estimated that freeing up the use of the unit may allow the creation of up to 60 now jobs.”

Planning applications have also been submitted to Waveney District Council to build a new petrol station next to the existing car park and to add a 30,000sq ft mezzanine level to increase the space inside the large shop.

A similar scheme which was put forward at the beginning of the year was criticised by urban regeneration company 1st East because of fears that more shops on the site would take business away from the town centre.

But the new proposals have been drawn up with help from the regeneration group.

Its chief executive Philip Watkins said: “We have had two or three very constructive sessions with Asda and we are finding a way forward.”

A decision on the scheme is expected to be made by Waveney District Council later in the summer.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists