Waving a flag for the east

John O'Groats and Land's End may be instantly recognisable outposts at the extremes of the UK, but now planners hope to wave the flag for the country's most easterly point.

John O'Groats and Land's End may be instantly recognisable outposts at the extremes of the UK, but now planners hope to wave the flag for the country's most easterly point.

Urban regeneration company 1st East wants to create a community park and cultural events space at Lowestoft's Ness Point to celebrate the last frontier before the North Sea and give it the same fame as its Scottish and Cornish rivals.

The site is one of 12 in Lowestoft and Yarmouth earmarked for development which were subjected to a wide-ranging public consultation which saw the East of England Park named among the most popular schemes.

Although only a concept at the moment, planners hope to enhance the existing geographical monument at Ness Point and will draw up more detailed designs if the scheme gets the required investment and planning permission.

Chief executive of 1st East, Philip Watkins, said: “While the northern and southern extremities of the UK are well known, the most easterly point does not enjoy the same profile or indeed attract the same number of visitors as Land's End or John O'Groats.

“The East of England Park is a proposal that aims to change this. The Waveney District Council and 1st East plans aim to transform the landscape around Ness Point and the unused green space to the north into a contemporary park that is attractive both to the residents of Lowestoft and to visitors.

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“It is important that the new park and tourist area connects to the existing attractions such as the Maritime Museum and Swallow's Nest and helps to bring back into use the Scores that traditionally connected the town to the seafront activity.”

The plan is a combination of two earlier ideas put forward by the company for extending Lowestoft's outer harbour up to Ness Point.

One was based on technological innovation and received a 67pc vote of support and the other focussed on tourism development, receiving a 74pc vote.

Another element of the East of England Park is the Power Park between Ness Point and Hamilton Dock where a number of energy businesses are expected to cluster around the £9m OrbisEnergy renewable energy centre which is rapidly taking shape on the seafront.

The centre, due to open next May, will house up to 30 businesses and could create up to 150 jobs.

All of the regeneration plans for Lowestoft and Yarmouth will be discussed at the House of Commons on Thursday at a specially arranged promotional event where Waveney MP Bob Blizzard and Yarmouth MP Tony Wright will pitch the ideas to investors and politicians.

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