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Empty hotel conversion plans set for green light

PUBLISHED: 10:39 07 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:39 07 October 2020

Revised plans have been lodged for the former Royal Court Hotel in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

Revised plans have been lodged for the former Royal Court Hotel in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

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A historic hotel that has stood empty for more than a decade looks set for a new lease of life.

Revised plans have been lodged for the former Royal Court Hotel in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick HowesRevised plans have been lodged for the former Royal Court Hotel in Lowestoft. Pictures: Mick Howes

The prominent former Royal Court Hotel in Lowestoft looks set to be redeveloped and extended to provide a café and 16 residential flats as the scheme is voted on next week.

Revised plans to transform The Royal Court Hotel on London Road South, which has been closed since 2009, will be discussed at a meeting of East Suffolk Council’s Planning Committee North next Tuesday, October 13.

It comes after a scheme was lodged with East Suffolk Council in March to redevelop the site with 29 flats and a café.

But after neighbours and Historic England raised concerns, amended plans were lodged with the council following officer feedback.

The prominent former hotel was originally opened in 1988 and ran as a 22-bedroom hotel until July 2009.

Since then, the building has been used as temporary accommodation for homeless people as well as an industrial space.

It was empty for more than 10 years until Lowestoft Court Apartments Ltd bought it in October 2019.

Councillors will be told planning officers recommend approval of the application.

It centres around the “redevelopment and extension of the former Royal Court Hotel to provide a café at ground level and 16 residential flats” at the site in south Lowestoft.

The planning report to be discussed by councillors states: “The scheme has been significantly amended and reduced in response to officer feedback.

“The revised scheme for 16 flats and a café is now supported by Lowestoft Town Council, and all previous objections from statutory consultees have been positively resolved.

“The Royal Court Hotel has sat vacant for many years in a highly prominent location.

“The proposed development would see the building brought back into a viable use.

“The regeneration of a key site in such a prominent location will be a significant public benefit for the town.”

With the recommendation for “authority to approve, subject to no new material planning issues being raised,” it concludes: “Officers consider that the proposed development accords with the Development Plan and represents a sustainable form of development delivering significant public benefits.”


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