New lease of life with go-ahead for apartments above former McDonalds
- Credit: Mick Howes
New apartments look set to be created above a former restaurant on the main approach to a town centre.
A scheme has been given the go-ahead to turn vacant offices into eight new flats or apartments above the former McDonald's restaurant, which closed on London Road North, Lowestoft in April.
With East Suffolk Council granting Prior Approval, under delegated powers earlier this month, the development will see retail and takeaway uses retained at the ground floor, with apartments to the first and second floors.
A change of use application was lodged with the council in June for the prominent three storey building that 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 proposals for "eight flats/apartments across the upper two floors of the building."
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.
It stated: "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.
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"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."
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.
In granting approval, a decision notice letter to the agents from the council stated: "East Suffolk Council hereby give notice that prior approval is required and hereby granted.
"This means that the proposal is permitted development."