More than 30 affordable homes will be built on a vacant town centre site after plans were given the go-ahead.

A scheme for 31 flats on a brownfield site in Lowestoft, which had previously been used by a tool hire centre business, was approved by councillors as East Suffolk Council’s planning committee North met via Zoom on Tuesday, September 8.

With six votes for the recommendations, one against and two abstentions from councillors, the amended Orwell Homes Ltd application was approved after being deferred last month.

With the scheme centring around “the demolition of existing commercial buildings and the construction of a residential development of 31, one bedroom flats over three/four storeys with undercroft parking and associated works” at the former JD Power Tools hire centre site on Alexandra Road in Lowestoft, concerns had been raised over design and layout issues as well as insufficient car parking and cycle spaces at the proposed development.

Addressing councillors during the meeting, Greg Dodds, assistant director of development at Orwell Housing, said: “Since we last met we’ve worked to make the necessary design amendments to the scheme.”

Key changes included construction drawings for the scheme’s Gross Internal Floor Area (GIFA) being progressed, with two electric vehicle charging points and two electric buggy charging points now incorporated.

Bin storage provision has been adapted and greater cycle storage provision has been developed with 45 cycle spaces now incorporated.

External elevations had also been revised to feature a red brick.

Mr Dodds added: “In summary, we have listened.

“We now feel this design meets all the suggested amendments made by this committee and we are now in a position to move forward with the landowner and our local contractors.

“We still feel this is the right design, the right use of this site and it will be a real benefit to Lowestoft.”

Debating the amended scheme, Cllr Norman Brooks said: “We desperately need one bedroom places, this is a brownfield site in a sustainable location.”

Cllr Linda Coulam added: “They have done everything that they possibly can to make amendments to what we asked for, so yes that’s very good.”

After councillors voted for the recommendations, planning committee North chairman Paul Ashdown said: “Thank you, in which case that application is approved.”