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Empty town centre store at former pub site set for new lease of life

PUBLISHED: 13:12 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:12 15 May 2020

The former Coes Menswear store in Lowestoft has been marketed for lease via Steel & Co Commercial Property Services. Picture: Steel & Co Commercial Property Services

The former Coes Menswear store in Lowestoft has been marketed for lease via Steel & Co Commercial Property Services. Picture: Steel & Co Commercial Property Services

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Flats and new retail units are set to be created as part of a scheme to transform a former pub and prestigious retailer.

The former Coes of Lowestoft store at the Old Clapham Arms in Bevan Street East, Lowestoft. Picture: COESThe former Coes of Lowestoft store at the Old Clapham Arms in Bevan Street East, Lowestoft. Picture: COES

Plans have been given the go-ahead to develop the family retail store, Coes of Lowestoft, into new flats and two retail units.

Change of use plans were lodged in March to convert the former menswear shop.

The former menswear store, Coes of Lowestoft.  PHOTO: Nick ButcherThe former menswear store, Coes of Lowestoft. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

With an application submitted to East Suffolk Council centring around the “change of use from shop to flats sub-division of existing shop into two smaller units” at 118-119 Bevan Street East in Lowestoft, the scheme has been approved by the council under delegated powers.

Coes of Lowestoft shut its doors in the town in May last year after 50 years of trading.

At the time the chain’s directors blamed winter disruptions from emergency roadworks, infrastruture and accessibility issues.

The building had been converted from The Old Clapham Arms public house into a men’s clothing shop in 2005.

Having remained empty since its closure a year ago, a new lease of life is planned.

A scheme submitted by agent Ian Garrett Building Design Ltd on behalf of the applicant Oakes Estates Ltd said the site area is 716m sq, with 118 Bevan Street East having “ceased use as a ladies clothes shop” on April 30 last year, while the former Coes Menswear clothing shop “ceased use” at 119 Bevan Street East on April 30.

With 119 Bevan Street East marketed by Steel & Co Commercial Property Services of Lowestoft, the property has “been let subject to contract (STC)”, according to its website.

In recommending approval with the “application permitted”, the delegated officer report states: “The submitted application seeks consent for a change of use from an existing large retail shop on the ground floor with storage above to flats on the first floor with additional sub-division of the

existing shop into two smaller units.”

With “no adverse comments received”, and approving the application with conditions, the report concludes: “The proposed subdivision of the retail unit with the creation of flats above is considered to be an acceptable form of development and accords with the provisions of the adopted East Suffolk Local Plan.”


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