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'Spanish package holiday resort' retirement apartment plans rejected

PUBLISHED: 13:27 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:23 18 October 2018

Shaftesbury Court in Lowestoft, which is proposed to be replaced by a four storey block of retirement homes. Picture: Google

Shaftesbury Court in Lowestoft, which is proposed to be replaced by a four storey block of retirement homes. Picture: Google

Google

Plans for 30 retirement apartments branded a 'Spanish package holiday resort' by opponents has been refused by councillors.

The application, from Sanctuary Supported Living, had proposed to demolish the existing care home Rectory Road and Kirkley Cliff Road in Lowestoft and build 30 apartments in its place.

However, councillors and officers pointed to a lack of parking provision at the site, with only 20 spaces for 27 two bed apartments and three one bed apartments as the main reason to refuse the application.

Chris Green, area planning officer for Waveney District Council, said: “Parking is the biggest issue for me. County are still supporting our position that 30 units and 20 spaces in the particular location is a problem.

“The parking survey was done when schools were out and there were no tourists around.”

In the report presented to the committee, the traffic management officer at Suffolk Police also highlighted issues with parking.

They said: “The over 55 group, with retirement ages from work increasing, better medical facilities and the national push for healthier lifestyles, contains more active lifestyles where residents might have more than one vehicle per apartment.

“Many elderly people still like to drive, but as vehicles might not be used as often, the vehicles could be parked for long periods.

“Space is currently available to park ‘on road’ in the area although the additional number of vehicles may have a knock on effect for the adjacent school at start and end of the school day, the beach and the gardens with tennis courts.”

Suffolk Highways’ warnings in the report that the application should be refused were heeded by councillors who voted in favour of refusal.

In the report the county said: “The Highways Authority are not satisfied that the likely impact of additional road parking that may result from a reduction in the parking provision, below that advised for warden assisted retirement properties, would not cause inconsiderate and unsafe obstructions to the surrounding road or footpath network or add pressure onto an already densely utilised parking network.”

The refusal means the existing Shaftesbury Court building will not be demolished despite the former care home’s facilities being transferred to Clover Court on Clapham Road South.

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