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New restaurant to transform historic building

PUBLISHED: 15:26 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:30 21 July 2020

Change of use plans have been approved for the building at Port House in Station Square Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

Change of use plans have been approved for the building at Port House in Station Square Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

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Historic former offices look set to be transformed into a new restaurant.

Change of use plans have been approved for the building at Port House in Station Square Lowestoft. Picture: Mick HowesChange of use plans have been approved for the building at Port House in Station Square Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes

Change of use plans to turn the building at Port House in Lowestoft into a restaurant have been given the go-ahead.

A scheme centring around “change of use from offices to restaurant; re-instatement of double doors and patio and associated works to surrounding external areas” on Station Square was lodged with East Suffolk Council in March.

Plans were approved by the council under delegated powers this week.

The plans will see the former offices at a Grade II listed building – formerly North Quay Customs House – that have been vacant a number of years given a new lease of life.

The detached two storey building on Station Square is surrounded by a car park, which was granted planning permission last year.

A scheme submitted by agents Ian Garrett Building Design Ltd on behalf of applicant Oakes Estates Ltd stated: “The application relates to the building only, and relates to the reinstatement of the portico which was removed, we believe, due to bomb damage during the Second World War or just after.

“The change of use relates to the ground floor of the building only.

“In the last 10 years there has been little interest in restoring this site to a worthwhile use.

“Effectively we have an iconic and historic grade two listed building boarded up and decaying on a site that stands at the junction between the beach and the town centre and is seen by the vast majority of visitors to Lowestoft.

“This building is part of our heritage and has got to come back in use – and the proposed scheme has the best chance of success.”

In recommending approval with the “application permitted”, the delegated officer report states: “The Port House is a key site as identified in the new Lowestoft Town Centre Masterplan in the Station Square quarter.

“The proposed change of use is not considered to result in any adverse impact to the amenity of area, and the proposed alterations would restore an original element of the listed building and enhance the character of the Conservation Area.”

With no objections to the plans, the case officer’s report recommends “that planning permission is granted subject to conditions.”


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