Former café could become holistic treatment room

Change of use proposals from a cafe to gallery and treatment room have been proposed for the propert

Change of use proposals from a cafe to gallery and treatment room have been proposed for the property on London Road South, Lowestoft. Picture: Alan Stannard Planning Agent - Credit: Archant

A scheme to transform a vacant café into an art gallery and holistic treatment room looks set to be approved.

Change of use plans have been submitted for the former café on London Road South, Lowestoft, which has been empty for eight years.

With an art gallery/studio space and a holistic treatment room to the back forming part of the change of use proposals for the former café, it will be discussed by East Suffolk Council's planning committee north at Riverside, Lowestoft, next Tuesday, January 14.

The property on London Road South was purchased last year by Mr and Mrs Costello, who propose to run both their businesses from the property.

Councillors will be told that planning officers recommend that the plans be given the green light.

The proposal centres around the front room (former café) becoming a gallery/studio space and the room behind (formerly the kitchen to the café) becoming a treatment room, according to the planning report.

The planning report states: "The submitted application seeks a change of use from a café to an art gallery/studio and a holistic treatment room to the rear, with additional works to remove the dangerous and unsightly concrete façade and for the installation of railings to the front at first floor level;

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reinstatement of the former front door; demolition of a modern C20 single storey rear element; and reconfiguration of the layout and increase the courtyard area.

"The property forms part of a terrace curving around the corner to include part of Carlton Road on the western side of the road and dates from the late Victorian period which has been historically used for retail/commercial purposes.

"The ground floor shop/commercial area was formerly used as a café however this has been vacant for some time with the café having been closed since 2012."

If approved, the new gallery and treatment room would be open to the general public with the rest of the property continuing to be lived in by Mr and Mrs Costello and family.

With no objections received and with the recommendation to councillors "to approve with conditions," the report concludes: "Officers are satisfied that the proposed development is acceptable and will bring a town centre unit into use, enhancing the vitality and viability of that area."