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Vision to transform 'disused' part of town with restaurant and passenger train

PUBLISHED: 06:30 26 January 2020

Links Road car park at Lowestoft's North Denes. Picture: Google

Links Road car park at Lowestoft's North Denes. Picture: Google

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A businessman vying to build the UK's most easterly fish and chip restaurant is looking to buy a "disused rubbish pit" for his plans.

Peter Colby. Picture: Victoria PertusaPeter Colby. Picture: Victoria Pertusa

Peter Colby was granted planning permission from East Suffolk Council last month for the proposal on Links Road, despite the land being owned by Lowestoft Town Council who object to the plans.

The proposal would see the development of a single storey cafe, with a play area and public toilets, as well as offering attractons nearby.

Mr Colby said: "I am prepared to buy the disused rubbish pit, now used as a car park, at Links Road and develop it. This will give the public a fish and chip restaurant at the most easterly point in Great Britain, public toilets, beach huts, and the council will be allowed to erect an information point promoting walks and points of interest throughout the area.

"I will install a children's passenger train to run along the seafront and they will have a certificate given to them to say they have travelled to the most easterly point of the country.

"I would also like to hire the large grassed area to the south of Links Road, and it is my intention to run attractions on this patch of land from steam rallies, boy scout camps and any other tourist attractions that might benefit the town. All this will be carried out at the expense of my company alone. There is no downside to these proposals for the town, nor for the council.

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"I believe that the project will be of great benefit to the north of Lowestoft and for the town in general. The only risk is for my company, should the venture fail.

"I have already invested a considerable sum of money in the idea, and East Suffolk County Council has given planning permission for the venture."

Lowestoft Town Council unanimously rejected the plans when presented to them in 2018, ESC's planning committee heard last month. Lowestoft mayor Alice Taylor said: "Anyone can make an offer or request planning permission, but the town council have an obligation to manage land for the benefit of the town."

No environmental study had been conducted prior to the proposal to determine whether the land could be made safe, with one Gunton Cliff resident highlighting an "awful smell" from the area from underground pipework a number of years ago.

As well as a new restaurant, play area and fitness area, the development would welcome the East Point Express, an electric train open to families throughout spring and summer seasons.

Mr Colby's proposal states: "The north side of Lowestoft is in need of investment and amenities, and such a fantastic location should be used for the benefit of the public. What is required is a cost-efficient café-restaurant which would bring people to the area and a well-maintained public space which could be enjoyed by both local families and tourists.

"The proposed new development keeps the local history in mind but looks to the long-term future of the town."

The Links Road car park "is little more than wastland which is subject to constant dog fouling," the proposal states, with 85pc of the land remaining as open space for the public. The toilets would be open to the public all year round, 24 hours a day.

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