Planning row firm set to quit town

A successful company which reluctantly agreed to move from its current site to make way for a new council headquarters is set to move out of Lowestoft after planners turned down its application to relocate to an alternative site in the town.

A successful company which reluctantly agreed to move from its current site to make way for a new council headquarters is set to quit Lowestoft after planners turned down its application to relocate to an alternative site in the town.

Steve Howlett, managing director of Pipeshield, agreed to drop his opposition to a compulsory purchase order (CPO) issued by Waveney District Council after believing he had struck a deal with officers from the same authority to secure a new location. But council officers left Mr Howlett's plans in tatters after recommending the application be refused - a decision rubber-stamped on Wednesday.

Waveney planning chiefs said the scheme was not a like-for-like representation of Pipeshield's operation at the Riverside Road business park. The Environment Agency had also objected because of the risk of flooding.

Mr Howlett, who pointed out he had received planning permission to expand his present site, said: "We are looking for alternative premises in the area, but we are struggling and it is

likely we will have to leave Lowestoft".

Pipeshield, which employs eight people in the town, provides pipeline protection systems for offshore contractors.

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The firm had been a principal objector at a public inquiry into the council's use of CPOs for land for the £52.7m Waveney Campus project by the banks of Lake Lothing.

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