Bold new vision for south Lowestoft unveiled

PUBLISHED: 06:57 11 January 2014

BEFORE: The Jeld Wen site close to Riverside Road Kirkley Waterfront   Picture: James Bass

BEFORE: The Jeld Wen site close to Riverside Road Kirkley Waterfront Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2012

Up to 850 homes, a new primary school, a marina and retail developments have been unveiled as part of ambitious plans for south Lowestoft.

AFTER: Futuristic homes on stilts living accommodation, in the architects view of the development. Picture: ASSAEL ARCHITECTUREAFTER: Futuristic homes on stilts living accommodation, in the architects view of the development. Picture: ASSAEL ARCHITECTURE

A long-term vision to regenerate under-used or vacant land on the south side of Lake Lothing with “unique” homes on stilts, waterfront villas, cafès, a wildlife visitor centre and a new public park have been included in the plans.

And, as these images show, the vision is to transform more than 45 acres (18.3 hectares) into a “vibrant, sustainable community” that would aim to build on “the area’s unique maritime setting”.

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 not only transform the development sites off Waveney Drive – which were once home to the Brooke Marine boatbuilding business and the Jeld Wen joinery factory – 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.

AFTER: An architects view of how the Lake Lothing waterfront may look in the development. Picture: ASSAEL ARCHITECTUREAFTER: An architects view of how the Lake Lothing waterfront may look in the development. Picture: ASSAEL ARCHITECTURE

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, from the Excelsior Trust charity and numerous locals, with one resident suggesting the plan “is totally unethical” and another adding the development “is beyond moral decency.”

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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