Scheme revised for new homes on vacant town centre site

The view from the corner of Alexandra Road and St. Peters Street in Lowestoft towards the former too

The view from the corner of Alexandra Road and St. Peters Street in Lowestoft towards the former tool hire centre site, which is being proposed for a new development. Picture: Google Images - Credit: Archant

Revised plans that could see more than 30 affordable homes built on a vacant town centre site look set to be given the go-ahead.

An amended scheme to create 31 flats on a brownfield site in Lowestoft that had previously been used by a tool hire centre business is being recommended for approval by planning officers.

It comes after the Orwell Homes Ltd application was deferred by East Suffolk Council’s planning committee North 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 were raised over insufficient car parking and cycle spaces at the proposed development.

After a lengthy meeting via Zoom last month, councillors unanimously agreed to defer the application.

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It will now be heard by the council’s planning committee North on Tuesday, September 8 as a remote meeting via Zoom is held.

Ahead of the meeting, a planning report to councillors states: “The proposed development utilises a sustainably located site for affordable housing in a location where there is a high need for affordable homes.

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“The level of parking provision and cycle storage is deemed to be acceptable to serve the development, and the external appearance of the building is appropriate for its context.

“The proposals are considered to accord with the Development Plan, and officers recommend approval.

“In response to the concerns raised by members, on several design and layout matters, the applicant has amended the proposals and submitted revised plans.”

Among the “key changes” to the proposals are the 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 have also been revised to feature a red brick.

It adds: “Members will be aware that the scheme was recommended by officers at the August meeting, and the applicant has since positively addressed the key member feedback through the revised proposals.

“Officers consider these changes to be acceptable, and the scheme overall to accord with the Development Plan. It is recommended for approval.”

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