Land deal signed over former Lowestoft television factory site
06:30 08 August 2014
Contracts have been exchanged this week that pave the way for hundreds of homes to be built on the former Sanyo television factory site in Lowestoft.
Sanyo has exchanged contracts with Waveney District Council for the sale of its 19-acre site at School Road to the local authority.
Now the contracts have been exchanged, Sanyo will start demolishing the buildings on the site and clear the land ahead of the completion of the purchase, which is believed to be more than £2m.
Once the purchase is completed, Waveney hopes that up to 350 homes will be built on the land as part of its Lake Lothing and Outer Harbour Area Action Plan (AAP), which aims to regenerate the area.
This week’s contracts exchange has been hailed as the “right deal for Lowestoft” by Waveney leader Colin Law and Sanyo vice president Noel Salmon, while businessman Peter Colby voiced his opposition to the plans by saying they were a wasted opportunity for creating jobs.
Mr Law said: “I am absolutely delighted that this purchase is nearly complete and that we are committing to a deal which will hugely benefit the people of Lowestoft.
“The acquisition of this land will provide much needed mixture of housing, including affordable homes, which will help the council to deliver on the promises we made as part of our AAP.
“There are a huge number of people who are desperate to enter the housing market for the first time and who would otherwise be unable to do so.
“The AAP indicates that
land at the Sanyo site should
be for residential use. However, this is only part of our overall objectives, which support ongoing business and industrial development from the offshore and renewable energy sector.” Sanyo had approached Waveney about buying the land on several occasions.
Mr Salmon, who signed the contract with Mr Law at Lowestoft Hall Town, said: “We are extremely pleased to be exchanging contracts and to be contributing to the future success of the council’s AAP. For some time we had encouraged Waveney to purchase the site for development and we absolutely believe that this is the right deal for Sanyo and for Lowestoft.”
Last August, Waveney held a full council meeting behind closed doors in which councillors agreed to acquire the land, which had been earmarked as a site for homes in the AAP which was ratified in 2011.
Mr Colby, who hails from Lowestoft and runs Sprowston-based Peter Colby Commercials Ltd, had put in a bid of £2.4m to buy the land so he could set up industrial units on the former television factory site to create hundreds of jobs.
He said: “It is the wrong thing to do to knock down perfectly good industrial units for no reason at all. I firmly believe that Lowestoft needs more jobs and an AAP that works.”
Bob Blizzard, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Waveney is also opposed to homes being built on the site. He said: “To demolish good, serviceable commercial buildings is vandalism on an industrial scale.”
Sanyo closed its television factory in February 2009 with the loss of 60 jobs. At its height, 350 workers produced 300,000 sets a year.