Building work on hold for Lowestoft’s new Burger King drive-through
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A project which was due to kick start the regeneration of a former civic site in Lowestoft has ground to a halt, after the company behind it went into administration.
Work got under way at the end of last year to build a Burger King drive-through on the site of the historic biscuit factory off Jubilee Way. However, Waveney District Council, which unanimously approved the plan, said the franchise due to be managing the site has gone into administration.
A spokesman said: 'Following discussions with the administrator, we are pleased they are already talking to a range of other potential operators, including different Burger King franchise holders, about this site and the wider business.
'Although work on the site had reached an advanced stage, nothing more can be done until the new operator has been secured. Waveney, the administrator and other operators recognise the strength and potential of this site as part of a very positive future for development in Lowestoft and we all hope that this situation will be resolved quickly so that work can recommence.'
The restaurant was approved on the grounds it would kickstart the regeneration of an area which would bring customers and further businesses to the north end of town. However it caused concern for heritage campaigners, as the Coopers Building dated back to the 1800s and was where long-life sea biscuits were manufactured until the 1960s.
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John Stannard from Lowestoft Civic Society, and Fiona Cairns, from Suffolk Preservation Society (SPS), who originally objected to the proposal, said they were 'dismayed' by the stalled development.
They said: 'We now understand that, having cleared the site, the work has ceased part way through as the fast food franchise holder for this area has gone into receivership. Should Waveney District Council have insisted that a contract for the redevelopment of the site was in place before the demolition began?
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'This sad situation is deeply disappointing. Lowestoft has lost another part of its maritime heritage and has gained another vacant site with an uncertain future.'
Neither Burger King or the administrators responded to a request for a comment.