Plan to share council offices in Lowestoft takes major step forward

Lowestoft Town Hall, High Street, Lowestoft.  Picture: Nick Butcher

Lowestoft Town Hall, High Street, Lowestoft. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

A major plan to share to relocate Waveney District and Suffolk Council staff onto a shared site in Lowestoft took an important step forward tonight.

Waveney’s cabinet approved setting aside £6.8m for the creation of a shared office space on Riverside Road with the county council.

Both councils are based in 10 buildings in the town, including the town hall and the sites are said by councils to be unfit for purpose for the 21st century due to their condition.

To help save up to £3m in running and maintenance costs over a 10 year period the councils want to re-locate to a piece of land by Lake Lothing that had meant to be the home of Waveney Campus project, which was ditched three years.

As well as creating a shared office space, which would include a council chamber and a cafeteria, it is hoped the project will regenerate large parts of Lowestoft as former council sites are developed into other uses.

The Riverside Road accommodation project would also see the Marina Centre kept for customer services.

As well as approving the £6.8m, which is due to be match funded by the county council, Waveney’s cabinet agreed to form a joint all party committee with its counterpart to manage and oversee the procurement and construction of the project, which could also see carbon emissions from both council reduced by up to 70pc.

Waveney owns the land for the proposed shared offices and councillors heard other organisations may be interested in moving into the area of land there once the project is finished.

The £53m Waveney Campus would have been a shared headquarters for both councils and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture, but it was halted due to challenging economic conditions.

Tonight’s cabinet also agreed to set aside £440,000 to carry out work to improve the foundation of 170m of seawall between Lowestoft’s South Pier and Claremont Pier as the structure was at risk of failure due to increasing erosion.

As well as prevent the undermining of the flint seawall, the work will also see work to improve adjacent groynes.


  • What has the Council wanting new offices got to do with the Tories? Proposals for new offices go a lot further back than just when the story appears in the media.

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    Sunday, September 30, 2012

  • As the Tories are so keen on Localism, and with the new rules on planning,why not a town-wide referendum on whether or not this is wanted? Don't be silly...we are witnessing at National and local level total Tory arrogance, and ignorance of what we plebs least Labour spent all the money on the right things...except chasing up the Tory-supporting tax-evaders and avoiders!

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    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • ...but they still want to make life harder for the poorest in our community...shame on Colin Law and his Tory cronies...but then, we're just plebs!

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    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • Their buildings are unfit for purpose? Is this because they haven't looked after them? They've been obsessed with moving to comfy offices and a riverside view ever since wasting millions on the phantom campus. This must be the most hopeless council in England,if their offices are as bad as they say its really all they deserve.

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    kevin bacon

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • It's curious how there's "no money left", until it becomes a question of featherbedding bureaucrats, and keeping the useless councillors in the style to which they are accustomed "because they deserve it". I think the £3m over 10 years saving must have been figured out on the back of an envelope; it'll never happen, and we, the people, will wind up spending more for this folly.

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    T Doff

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012

  • There are plenty of 'brown field' sites around Lowestoft; Old Zepher cams site, Sanyo etc..It would be better, more sensible, to use these first as quayside space is a premium in Lowestoft and is required for attracting future business who need access to Lake Lothing and the sea. ABP apparently is expensive to rentuse and generally quayside facilities are not well maintained e.g. note sea wall collaspe near bridge.WDC can maintain their customer office by the marina building. Their track record on planning projects is very poor, eg, submitting plans for campus without carrying out the flood risk assessment hence project delay, delayed projects cost money and then become too expensive. We can rightly expect a high risk of this new building going over budget if WDC are involved. They should sell the Riverside land that they purchased too early.

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    Saturday, September 29, 2012

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