Toolstation to move into empty factory unit in south Lowestoft

Plans have been lodged for the northern unit of 5 Tower Road in Gisleham, South Lowestoft.

Plans have been lodged for the northern unit of 5 Tower Road in Gisleham, South Lowestoft. - Credit: Mick Howes

A national tool supplier looks set to take over part of an empty factory unit after plans were given the green light.

Change of use plans were submitted on behalf of Toolstation Ltd to turn part of vacant premises on Tower Road in south Lowestoft into a new storage or distribution unit.

With a scheme lodged with East Suffolk Council at the end of October for a change of use from Class B2 (General Industrial) to Class B8 (Storage or Distribution) at the northern unit of 5 Tower Road in Gisleham, South Lowestoft, the plans were approved under delegated powers last week.

It comes after Toolstation opened a new store in part of the former Beales department store on Smallgate, Beccles, in October as part of a drive to open more than 60 new UK branches.

A design and access statement submitted by agents Mango Planning & Development Ltd, on behalf of the applicants, for the vacant South Lowestoft unit measuring around 0.13 hectares, said that as a result of the change of use: "Toolstation have confirmed that it will employ between five and eight full time equivalent staff at the unit."

Plans have been lodged for the northern unit of 5 Tower Road in Gisleham, South Lowestoft.

Plans have been approved for the northern unit of 5 Tower Road in Gisleham, South Lowestoft - Credit: Mick Howes

With the site comprising a unit that is currently split in two, Screwfix occupy the southern half of the larger factory unit, while the northern section is vacant.

The storage unit is earmarked to be in operation between 7am to 8pm from Monday to Saturday and between 9am and 5pm on Sundays.

It adds: "The proposal is at a vacant unit within Lowestoft, the proposed Class B8 employment generating use brings the unit into beneficial use."

A report from a delegated officer at the council recommended that "planning permission be granted subject to conditions" as "the principle and detail of the development is considered to be acceptable".

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It adds: "The submitted supporting statement notes that the end user is a trade counter, which falls within the B8 use class, and therefore this is the use proposed."

In granting approval, a decision notice letter to the agents from the council stated: "Permission is hereby granted by East Suffolk Council," subject to conditions.

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