December 9 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 6, 2013
Hundreds of homes are set to be built in Lowestoft after a preliminary deal was struck over the future of the former Sanyo television site.
Waveney District Council is in advanced negotiations to buy the former television factory site in School Road so up to 350 homes can be built there to help regenerate the Lowestoft harbour area.
Last month Waveney held a full council meeting behind closed doors in which councillors agreed to acquire the 20 acres of land for residential development as it had been earmarked by an area action plan ratified by the council in 2011 as a location where only homes should be built.
However the news has angered businessman Peter Colby who had wanted to buy the land for £2.3m so he could set up industrial units there to create hundreds of jobs.
Revealing the news that negotiations for the land are nearly completed Colin Law, leader of Waveney, said: “The acquisition of this land will help the council better deliver the area action plan and will provide a mixture of housing, both private and social, which will help those who wish to enter the housing market for the first time and who would otherwise be unable to do so.
“The action plan clearly states that the land at the Sanyo site should be for residential use and this purchase and future development will support the considerable business and industrial development generated around this location by the offshore and renewable energy sector.
“It will create even greater confidence in the potential of the area and highlights the significant positive opportunities there are for the town. “The council is delighted to have an opportunity to take such a genuinely positive community leadership role, a view shared by Sanyo who have expressed their own desire to leave a genuine legacy for the town.”
“The council now looks forward to completing the transaction with Sanyo and the future delivery of much needed housing on the site. The area action plan is an exciting blueprint for Lowestoft and we are delighted to be taking an even more active role in what promises to be an exciting future for the town.”
Sanyo closed the television factory in February 2009 with the loss of 60 jobs. At its height 350 workers produced 300,000 televisions a year.
Over the last three years Sanyo says it has asked the council if it wanted to buy the land.
A spokesman for the company said: “Waveney and Sanyo have now agreed a price for the site. This will ensure that the area action plan can be implemented in accordance with the plans submitted for public consultation, which received positive support from the people of Lowestoft.”
Peter Colby had hoped to buy the land for £2.3m but after what he said were two years of lengthy negotiations the deal with Sanyo never materialised.
As well as converting existing building into industrial units he would also have built some homes on the land.
Mr Colby, who hails from Lowestoft and runs Peter Colby Commercials Ltd, said: “My plans would have seen 400 jobs created, jobs that are much needed
“I am disappointed for Lowestoft because there will now be now jobs on the Sanyo site. What Lowestoft needs is more jobs, not more homes.
“The land is not viable for homes, where is the infrastructure for them?
“I fear we will be left with a wasteland and a wasted opportunity for Lowestoft.”
Mr Colby’s company, Peter Colby Commercials Ltd, has made a formal complaint to the council which says councillors at the meeting had not been told about his bid and he had told planning officials beforehand his plans were more viable than the council’s.
Bob Blizzard, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Waveney is full supportive of Mr Colby’s cause.
He told the Journal: “What Lowestoft needs most of all is jobs. For the Tory council to reject and thwart Peter Colby’s £2.3m investment to bring jobs back to the Sanyo site just beggars belief.”