Fears over application to replace seafront retirement home with four-storey apartment block

Shaftesbury Court in Lowestoft, which is proposed to be replaced by a four storey block of retiremen

Shaftesbury Court in Lowestoft, which is proposed to be replaced by a four storey block of retirement homes. Picture: Google - Credit: Google

Developers hoping to build a 40-home retirement block in Lowestoft say the public response has been widely positive - despite more than a dozen objections.

Sanctuary Supported Living has submitted a planning application to demolish the existing care home at Shaftesbury Court, to be replaced with a four-storey block of flats.

The proposal has received a considerable number of objections from residents living near the Rectory Road site, with concerns raised around the impact the development could have on the town.

However, in a statement of community involvement report, planners Farningham Planning Ltd say the public response has been widely positive.

It said: 'The overall response to the indicative proposals for the site was generally very positive in tone, although a number of site specific issues in respect of the proposed building's detailed design and height were raised.

'The applicants have tried to satisfactorily address these issues and concerns, where possible, within the planning application.'

A community engagement event for the proposals was held on Thursday, June 22, which they say was attended by 31 people.

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A further 19 public comments have been submitted in response to the application, all of which objected to its approval.

Concerns have been raised around the significant increase in the number of occupants - the current home houses 15 - parking provisions on the site and nearby roads, and the proposed height of the building.

Fears have been expressed that due to the 40-home development only having 20 car parking spaces proposed, residents and those visiting would occupy roadside spaces instead, which could deter tourists.

Martin Borrill, of Kingswear Court said: 'Such increases in traffic can only reduce the flow of money into the area, as tourists go elsewhere seeking easier parking opportunities.'

Stuart Ball, also of Kingswear Court, added: 'The proposed height of the building will dwarf surrounding buildings.'

Alex Gibbs, of Keel Close, who owns a flat on Kingswear Court, said: 'A new building that exceeds the current roof line will surely reduce light and amenity to the surrounding conservation area.'

A decision date for Waveney District Council's planning committee to discuss the application is yet to be confirmed.

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