Former Poundstretcher store to be transformed into soft play area
PUBLISHED: 11:24 18 November 2019 | UPDATED: 11:33 18 November 2019
A former Poundstretcher store is set to be transformed into a children's soft play area after planners gave the scheme the green light.
The high street building, on London Road North in Lowestoft, has been vacant following the closure of Poundstretcher in 2016.
However, the building opened its doors again in September to host a pop-up art exhibition by Easterly Artists. Following the exhibition, plans were submitted to turn it into a farm-themed children's soft play area and café, with toilets.
And now, it has been approved by East Suffolk Council's planning committee.
In an excerpt of the application, Mark Jones, who lodged it with the council, said he aimed to "create a café and soft play area for local parents to meet up and watch their children play in a safe, supervised environment".
Mr Jones, who has relocated to Lowestoft after operating a successful soft play centre in Surrey, said the café will promote healthy eating and will buy "consumables from local producers" wherever possible.
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According to planning documents visible online, there will be a bespoke designed play area and a separate toddler area.
There will also be a sensory room with equipment to "aid and encourage motor skills and develop social skills".
"The play area will be located in the rear of the property, furthest from the street entrance," it said.
In the documents, the council's economic development team said: "We would be supportive of any application from A1, two, three or five that would create jobs, bring an empty building back to use and increase footfall in an area thus benefitting the local economy and spend in other local retail units nearby.
"Our economic growth plan states the importance of supporting entrepreneurs, encouraging existing businesses to grow, and attracting businesses to the area.
"All of this requires suitable premises to be available in order to meet the needs of start-up businesses and growing businesses. We would also welcome the increase in employment and the strengthening of our key sectors in East Suffolk."
The business will be open from 9am to 7pm on Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am till 5pm on Sunday and bank holidays.