Lowestoft town hall site plans at ‘advanced stage’

The Town Hall in Lowestoft. Picture: James Bass

The Town Hall in Lowestoft. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

The future of Lowestoft's historic town hall site could soon be decided after its owner today revealed plans to redevelop the area are at an 'advanced stage'.

The 159-year-old building served as the headquarters for Waveney District Council until the majority of staff moved out last year to the authority's new Riverside building in Canning Road, Lowestoft.

What will happen to the Grade II listed building and associated site has been subject to much debate, with heritage campaigners accusing the authority of abandoning the historic town hall - something WDC said is completely untrue.

The council had already indicated that the iconic town hall building will be retained for civic or community use.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the site would be redeveloped for catering, leisure or retail use, subject to planning consent.

The district council believes the development would help to breathe new life into the area, bringing customers to the north of the town. It is hoped contracts will be signed in the next few weeks.

Waveney District Council leader Colin Law said: 'When we vacated the town hall in the spring of 2015 we made it absolutely clear that the site would not be abandoned or neglected and that any future development would benefit the town and the local economy.

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'We have already seen the development of much needed new housing on Compass Street, with more to follow, in partnership with Orbit.

'However, we believe that it is important to introduce the right mix of use, while also preserving the original town hall structure for the community.'

Ahead of the completion of any sale, important preparatory work will need to take place including a full archaeological survey before any development can take place.

The survey will be managed by Suffolk County Council's archaeology team.