Residents vow to fight North Denes development

Residents campaign against possible future development on the North Denes area of Lowestoft.

Residents campaign against possible future development on the North Denes area of Lowestoft. - Credit: Archant

Residents have vowed to fight future building on iconic open space overlooking the sea after a mobile home company fenced off land intended for development.

Tingdene already has a static caravan park at North Denes next to the beach at Ness Point.

Waveney District Council leader Colin Law said: 'On the basis of the success of this initial scheme, the council has leased two further small areas, adjacent to the existing site, to Tingdene.

'However, it is clearly understood that if Tingdene are to carry out any further development on this land, the responsibility lays entirely with them to ensure that all and any necessary permissions are in place.'

No planning application has yet been submitted for development - yet fencing has appeared around two new areas of land, with signs from Tingdene which read: 'Investing in the future, new developments coming soon.'

The Journal contacted Tingdene for a comment about their plans for the site but had not received a response by the time of going to press.

John Stannard, chairman of the Lowestoft Civic Society, said: 'The process they've gone through does not seem right to us.

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'There is so much heritage on that site. The town has a long and fascinating history, and The Denes are an important and integral part of it. We must never get rid of open space. Personally I think it's the wrong attitude.'

However Mr Law pointed to the fact that councils have a 'huge financial challenge', because major reductions in funding for local authorities from central government mean that: 'We must explore all opportunities to raise much needed funds.

'This includes the ongoing assessment of our limited assets, land and buildings to identify where income can contribute to funding priority frontline services in future, for our most vulnerable communities.

'We remain fully aware that some residents whose properties overlook the North Denes area retain an interest in matters relating to the site, with ward councillors Stephen Ardley and Mary Rudd particularly keen to address certain concerns.

'Therefore, the council intends to further explore these issues, to best achieve a balance between utilising our assets - for the benefit of all our communities - and the views of some local residents.'

Residents also raised concerns that any new building could set a precedent to further extend the caravan park.

However Mr Law said: 'There is absolutely no question of further land being leased to Tingdene beyond these two additional areas and suggestions that there are any plans to establish additional caravan placements across North Denes are completely without foundation.

'The majority of the North Denes area remains and will continue to be open, public space.'