The Range among national chains confirmed for Lowestoft redevelopment
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A number of nationally renowned retailers have confirmed they will be coming to a new multi-million pound development in south Lowestoft.
New life will be breathed into the former Zephyr Cams factory site, on Tower Road, as The Range, Aldi, Costa Coffee and Jollyes Pet Superstore arrive in the town in the next three years.
It is also understood that confirmation from Greggs and the Card Factory is close.
Mark Bee, leader of Waveney District Council, said: 'This development is another excellent example of the growth potential in Lowestoft, with nationally renowned retailers coming to the town and creating jobs to boost the local economy.
'We're really pleased with the generally positive outlook for business and local people.'
The Costa Coffee will have a drive-thru allowing commuters and visitors the chance to grab a drink on the go.
Planning permission for the redevelopment of the site was approved last year but a new application detailing minor variations was put before Waveney District Council's planning committee on Tuesday, July 11.
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The committee voted unanimously to pass the proposal.
Ian Graham, mayor of Lowestoft and a member of the committee, said: 'This needs to be done and needs to be done quickly.'
The updated proposal will result in the loss of 2,000 square foot of approved retail space - as a mezzanine is removed from the unit The Range will occupy.
Other amendments will see an additional five parking spaces added to the development.
The original application stated: 'The scheme will result in both a substantial investment in south Lowestoft and will result in the creation of a significant number of new jobs for local people.'
The positive impact of the development was stressed further in the updated application.
The plans said: 'It is a prominent site which has been vacant for many years and this scheme will positively enhance the entrance to the town from the south.
'The retail impact remains unchanged with this proposal and the development will not result in any harm to the vitality and viability of Lowestoft town Centre.'
•What do you think of the scheme? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Lowestoft Journal 147 London Road North, Lowestoft, NR32 1NB.
Lowestoft Vision reaction
Reacting to the news, Danny Steel, chairman of Lowestoft Vision, said: 'It is not ideal for the town centre.
'Obviously, we always welcome development that will help the local economy but the rise in outer town shopping units in the Lowestoft area is a concern similar to a lot of other places.'
He added: 'Not that we object to it - rather we look at ways to encourage people to use the town centre.
'There is very little that Waveney District Council or Lowestoft Town Council can do, except to make it easier for the properties they own to be available.
'With the rise in out of town shopping along with the rise of online shopping it is a challenge to the town.'
Lowestoft Vision is the town's business improvement district (BID). The organisation is part of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Lowestoft and Waveney and works to make the town more secure, appealing, attractive and accessible.