Major pub chain plans for Lowestoft are set to be given approval

Lowestoft looks set to become the latest town in the region to get a JD Wetherspoon pub.

The national pub chain has submitted an application to take over part of the former Tuttles department store by the town's railway station at Station Square and turn it into a pub.

The plans will be discussed by Waveney District Council's development control committee on June 19.

Councillors will be told planning officers recommend the pub be given the green light as it will create up to 50 jobs and breathe fresh life into the run down former Tuttles building, which has been branded an eye sore by residents.

If approved J D Wetherspoon will invest �1m to take up three floors on the northern part of the building, including a shop currently occupied by the Weigh and Save shop, to set up the pub.

Council planning papers show that no one has objected to the plans which also include an outside area.

Two letters of support from neighbouring residents have been sent in praising JD Wetherspoon's plans.

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One says: 'I am all in favour of a new Wetherspoons bar in the former Tuttles department store. The site as it is has become derelict and dangerous.

'I think the best way to see it developed is the way Wetherspoons has suggested and planned with a brand new community restaurant and bar people can dine and drink.'

Another letter from a resident of Payne Street says: 'This development will be excellent for the town.

'It will create extra jobs, re-vitalise a run down part of Station Square, benefiting visitors and local people alike.'

In the planning document to be discussed June 19, it is said the pub's 'hours of operation should be 7am to 1.30 in the morning' and they will be 'effectively restricted only by licensing constraints'.

Police have not made any formal representation or objections, but if the plan were approved, officers say they would be 'actively involved in the licence application and would look carefully at any licence and appropriate conditions'.

The council planning officers report says: 'The proposal would restore a large part of the building and would result in the refurbishment of a prominent building and offer employment.

'Recommendation is for approval.'

The Tuttles department store opened in the 1880s and is owned by Elizabeth Holdings, which will lease the space for the pub to J D Wetherspoon if the plans are approved.

It is hoped the pub could then be open later in the year.

In November, an online petition was set up demanding something be done to breath fresh life into the Tuttles site which, the petition said, was a 'civic embarrassment' and a 'horrid eyesore' due to its condition.

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