What do you think of a bright, new vision for the run-down waterfront in south Lowestoft?
PUBLISHED: 14:43 10 January 2014 | UPDATED: 14:44 10 January 2014
An ambitious vision for south Lowestoft has been unveiled.
Up to 850 homes, a new primary school, marina, retail developments and a wildlife visitor centre are all included in proposals to transform a swathe of under-used or vacant land on the south side of Lake Lothing.
The development sites off Waveney Drive – which were once home to the Brooke Marine boatbuilding business and the Jeld Wen joinery factory – cover more than 45 acres.
A planning application has now been submitted to Waveney District Council by Cardy Construction Ltd, which has been working with London-based architects and agents in Norwich.
It says the scheme will “create a vibrant, sustainable community” that will not only transform the area, but provide jobs and act as “the catalyst for future investment in the town.”
Old industrial buildings would be knocked down as part of the redevelopment.
This week, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said: “I welcome the submission of this planning application with proposals to bring back into full use an important area in Lowestoft.”
Waveney District Council leader Colin Law also welcomed the plans.
“This proposal is a wonderful shot in the arm for Lowestoft and promises much needed affordable housing, jobs and a genuine attraction for visitors,” he said.
“The Area Action Plan was created to help deliver landmark developments like this and we are now beginning to see the fruits of our labours.
“I have always said how committed I am to transforming Lowestoft and creating real benefits for all,” he added. “It is a town to be proud of and this is another step forward on what we hope will be a fantastic journey for our communities.”
The leader of Waveney’s opposition Labour group, Tod Sullivan, said: “I welcome the investment in the town, new affordable homes are vital. Although I believe parts of the overall planning strategy for Waveney need revising and reviewing, I have always supported the principle of regenerating the waterfront for homes and for business use.”
However, the proposals have also prompted a number of critical comments and objections.
Opposing the plans, businessman Peter Colby, said: “I understand that with an extension of the population, Lowestoft needs houses, but there are plenty of other sites in Lowestoft that can be built on now.
“For the regeneration of Lowestoft we need that waterfront to be used for industry.
“Once we knock these industrial buildings down, the heritage is gone,”
The application, which is currently waiting for consideration by Waveney, has also prompted concerns about potential flooding in light of the recent tidal surge.
A spokesman for the developers said they had addressed concerns raised by the Environment Agency and the Highways department over “the potential for flooding and the traffic impact” on the wider area.
If the scheme wins approval, the spokesman said: “We would expect work to commence during this year and to provide a considerable number of jobs both during and after construction for many years to come, as well as being the catalyst for future investment in the town.”
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