Pub plan submitted for Lowestoft’s former Tuttles store building
A landmark Lowestoft building branded as an eyesore looks set for a �1m facelift under plans to turn part of it into a new pub.
Plans have been submitted to Waveney District Council to convert a large part of the former Tuttles department store on Station Square into a new pub run by the national chain JD Wetherspoon.
The company, which has more than 800 pubs nationwide, hopes to open this year and create 40 new jobs by leasing space from the building's owners Elizabeth Holdings.
J D Wetherspoon has also pledged to keep the building's 'unique' features.
The news ends years of speculation that the company was looking to open a pub in Lowestoft – and raises hopes that the once-grand building could be restored to something close to its former glory.
Peter Aldous, Waveney MP, said: 'This proposed development is welcome as it will hopefully lead to the refurbishment of an important landmark building and will help attract more people in to the town centre.
'Lowestoft traders have an exciting vision for the future and bringing the Tuttles building back in to full use compliments extremely well the work that they are doing.'
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If approved, the new pub will occupy three floors of the building – including the shop currently occupied by Weigh and Save shop and the two vacant neighbouring units.
Last November, an online petition was set up demanding something be done to breath fresh life into the former Tuttles site which was described as a 'civic embarrassment' and a 'horrid eyesore' due to its condition.
But Chris Trindall, company director at Elizabeth Holdings, said he was pleased the public could now finally see something was being done about the building after two years of confidential negotiations.
A JD Wetherspoon spokesman said: 'We are keen to be in Lowestoft and are hopeful that we can open a pub in the town, with an investment of around �1m and the creation of approximately 40 jobs.
'We are still in negotiations on a site in Station Square and, although things are progressing, planning and licensing are still required.'
In a design and access statement, the company's planning application says the main customer entrance to the pub would be at the corner of the building and there would also be outside seating provided. The Tuttles store opened in the 1880s.