Restaurant ‘credit to Lowestoft’ claim

THE developer behind plans for a new restaurant in Gunton says it would be 'a credit to Lowestoft'.

Businessman Peter Colby has applied to convert the former RNLI social club in Links Road into a caf�-restaurant which, he says, will concentrate on serving smoked fish and other seafood 'close to where it was caught'.

But, as reported in last week's Journal, his proposals have prompted objections from people living nearby, with concerns raised over potential parking and drainage problems, possible noise and the impact on wildlife.

This week Mr Colby, who hails from Lowestoft and runs Sprowston-based Peter Colby Commercials, said he believed the development would enhance the area and that disruption to neighbours would be minimal.

He said: 'We are committed to providing a high-quality facility at affordable prices which will be a credit to Lowestoft and where visitors and locals can enjoy good seafood in a setting close to where it was caught.

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'The North Denes area is popular with tourists and locals who walk and enjoy the spectacular views of the North Sea. It is also used in the summer months by local families who enjoy the beach and the fun of playing on the Denes.

'The object of the planned development is to make a viable business which will enhance the area and provide much-needed toilet facilities for walkers and beach users seven days a week.'

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Mr Colby said there would also be a caf� where people could enjoy a 'cup of tea, coffee or snack'.

'The panoramic second-storey will face the North sea,' he said. 'There will be no windows at the rear of the building, due to the proximity of the cliff, so there is no possibility of any existing properties in the area being overlooked.

'This second-storey would provide a restaurant concentrating on serving smoked fish, crabs, lobster and so forth. All of this will be prepared before arrival at the restaurant.

'The only cooking to be done on the premises will be freshly-boiled potatoes. Salads and dressings will accompany the fish cuisine. The fish will be supplied by a local fish merchant.'

Mr Colby said that the vacant building was previously a licensed social club, but there were no plans to sell alcohol at the new restaurant, which would open between about 10am and 9.30pm.

He added: 'There will be no smell from the site as every aspect of the development will be in accordance with legal catering requirements. The restaurant will not be applying for a licence to sell alcohol, although patrons of the restaurant will be allowed to bring in their own beverage if they so wish.

'This makes the restaurant and its cuisine very affordable – this formula has been well tried and tested in north Norfolk at Cookie's Crab Shop. With regards the concerns about car parking there is a free, under-used council car park overlooking the sea, and about 200m from the site. Noise nuisance should not occur as the site plus its extension to second-storey is well screened by the existing trees, and by the fact that it is built almost into the cliff and well below the level of the Links Road houses and Links Court.'

In the past week, the proposals – which are still pending consideration at Waveney District Council – have prompted further objections, and a recommendation by planning officers is likely to be made soon.

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