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New shop units and flats proposed for prominent site

PUBLISHED: 10:48 24 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:48 24 February 2020

Plans have been lodged to convert the former Lowestoft Electrical store into eight new flats and three retail units for small businesses at 127 London Road North and 1 Regent Road in Lowestoft. Picture: Google Images

Plans have been lodged to convert the former Lowestoft Electrical store into eight new flats and three retail units for small businesses at 127 London Road North and 1 Regent Road in Lowestoft. Picture: Google Images

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New retail units and eight flats could be built in a prime town centre location.

Lowestoft Electrical, in London Road North, ceased trading in October 2018 after 65 years. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTHLowestoft Electrical, in London Road North, ceased trading in October 2018 after 65 years. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Plans have been lodged to convert the former Lowestoft Electrical store into new flats and three units for small businesses.

An application, submitted to East Suffolk Council last week, centres around the "conversion of retail unit to three smaller ground floor retail units and eight flats" at 127 London Road North and 1 Regent Road in Lowestoft.

Lowestoft Electrical, in London Road North, ceased trading in October 2018 after 65 years. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTHLowestoft Electrical, in London Road North, ceased trading in October 2018 after 65 years. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

If the plans get the go-ahead, it would mean that a prominent building in Lowestoft town centre - which has empty for more than a year - could be given a new lease of life.

The Lowestoft Electrical store was forced to shut its doors in October 2018 after 65 years of trading.

Plans have been lodged to convert the former Lowestoft Electrical store into eight new flats and three retail units for small businesses at 127 London Road North and 1 Regent Road in Lowestoft. Picture: Google Images
Plans have been lodged to convert the former Lowestoft Electrical store into eight new flats and three retail units for small businesses at 127 London Road North and 1 Regent Road in Lowestoft. Picture: Google Images

At the time the owners said they were "unable to continue trading in these tough economic conditions."

Harrison Woodrow Plumbing and Heating Ltd, which was based on Regent Road in the same unit as Lowestoft Electrical, told its customers it had moved to Beccles and would be offering the same services.

Having remained empty since its closure almost a year-and-a-half ago, a design and access statement submitted by agent Ian Garrett Building Design Ltd on behalf of the applicant, which is listed as 127 LRN Ltd, said pre-application planning advice had been carried out in August.

With the site area listed as 237m sq, it states: "At the ground floor the retaining of retail units both on London Road North and Regent Road has been carried out via a new entrance from Regent Road, creating a retail unit in the main body of the building.

"An additional third unit has been created by converting the existing garage into a unit.

"These units although smaller than the original retail unit will offer cheaper rent and in turn these become attractive affordable spaces for small businesses and services in the town centre, where in recent years it has become very apparent big retail spaces do not work in this location.

"Either side of this application site we have two former large retail units that have left the town."

In conclusion, it adds: "the development fits with the layout of the surrounding area, and those properties already within this location.

"Adding a third storey to the rendered section of building based on Regent Road provides additional residential units but does not aesthetically alter the building in a negative way.

"Other changes are the installation of two new shop fronts along this same elevation which also don't detract from the building, but offer a refreshed set of smaller sized retail units."

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