Waveney Local Plan

Central and Coastal Lowestoft Regeneration

043 Lowestoft2.8 Lowestoft has long been identified as a priority area for regeneration. As discussed above the town faces significant challenges with issues relating to poor economic performance, and high levels of deprivation. These issues are at their most acute within the central parts of the town. It is these parts of the town which also have the greatest potential for positive transformation.

2.9 Central and Coastal Lowestoft benefits from the town centre, port, the beach and Broads, extensive areas of waterfront and good public transport links. It also benefits from substantial redevelopment opportunities on former industrial sites which are currently underutilised or derelict. Central Lowestoft will also experience significant change over this plan period with the planned Third Crossing over Lake Lothing and strategic flood protection measures.

2.10 To address the need for regeneration the last Local Plan included an Area Action Plan (2012) for the Lake Lothing and Outer Harbour area of Central Lowestoft. This development plan document provided a spatial policy framework for revitalisation of the area. It included specific policies to manage and support development of the area, together with specific site allocations for the development of different parts of the area. The plan set out to provide 1,585 new homes, new industry and new retail and leisure facilities.

2.11 Progress has been made on many of the allocations in the Area Action Plan. Planning permissions have been granted for 1,181 new homes on the Kirkley Waterfront and Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood site. New offices have been constructed on Riverside Road. Existing engineering businesses have expanded in the PowerPark and East Anglia ONE and Galloper windfarms have announced investment in the town.

2.12 However, there is still more work to be done. This Local Plan replaces the Area Action Plan in its entirety. However, it carries forward many of the proposals in order ensure a planned approach to the regeneration of Central Lowestoft is achieved. This Local Plan also widens the scope by considering how the existing regeneration proposals fit with the wider part of Central Lowestoft including the town centre and the coast from North Denes to South Beach.

Objectives for central and coastal Lowestoft

  1. Improve connections and permeability within the area. Including ensuring the third crossing supports connections through central Lowestoft and to the town centre, creating better pedestrian and cycle connections between the Broads, East of England Park and North Denes and South Beach through to Pakefield.
  2. Create a better relationship to the waterfront, particularly along the south-side of Lake Lothing.
  3. Support Lowestoft Port and capitalise on the growth of offshore renewables and offshore related engineering.
  4. Enhance the vitality and viability of Lowestoft Town Centre.
  5. Bring back underutilised and derelict land into positive use.
  6. Enhance the tourism offer of the area.
  7. Enhance the quality of design and the public realm.
  8. Deliver new housing in an accessible location bringing a better mix of tenures and types of housing to the area.
  9. Reduce the need to travel by car.
  10. Improve the natural, historic and built environmental quality of the area. 


2.13 To deliver these high level objectives, the plan and table below identify the main themed opportunity areas, the links between them and the overall spatial objectives for those areas. For some areas specific site allocations are identified, many of these are rolled forward from the Lake Lothing and Outer Harbour Area Action Plan. It is expected that development proposals should be broadly in line with the spatial objectives for each themed opportunity area. Any Neighbourhood Plans and Neighbourhood Development Orders prepared in Lowestoft or Oulton Broad, provide an opportunity to add further detail to these high level objectives and identify further specific development proposals to deliver them. A strategy for the town centre area (including the following themed areas; Retail Core and Enhanced Leisure Area, Peto Square Leisure Area, Heritage and Community Shopping Area, Office and Town Centre Service Area and Town Centre Residential Area) is also being prepared which will provide further detail including land-use and non-planning measures to help improve the vitality and viability of the town centre. Planning measures identified in the masterplan could be adopted through a Neighbourhood Plan or a Supplementary Planning Document.

2.14 For some areas there are specific proposals and policies in this Local Plan which will help deliver these spatial objectives. Figure 7 below shows sites proposed for allocation in Central Lowestoft. These specific allocations together with other site specific designations are covered in this section under Policies WLP2.2 to WLP2.11. Policy WLP8.1/8.2/8.4 on housing, Policy WLP8.12 Existing Employment Areas, Policies WLP8.15, WLP8.16 and WLP8.17 on tourism, Policy WLP8.18/8.19 on town centres, Policy WLP8.23 Protection of Open Space, Policy WLP8.37 Conservation Areas also help deliver the objectives for Central and Coastal Lowestoft.

Figure 7 - Central Lowestoft strategy
045 Central Lowestoft Map

  • 1 | North Denes Tourism and Ecological AreaEnhance the tourism offer, protect and enhance the existing open space and protect and enhance the sensitive biodiversity habitats around Gunton Warren.
  • 11 | Kirkley Village CentreProtect and enhance the existing retail area and expand the provision of restaurants and cafes to cater for local people and tourists alike. Enhance the links to the seafront, so the area can greater benefit from tourists.
  • 2 | East of England ParksEnhance the open space comprising the East of England Park, Ness Point and the links between the parks.
  • 12 | Kirkley Rise Employment AreaRetain employment uses in either the existing buildings or through redevelopment.
  • 3 | Heritage and Community Shopping AreaEnhance the heritage experience and support the existing shops, cafes and restaurants which support the local population. Links between the High Street, the Scores and the East of England Park will also be enhanced.
  • 13 | Lothing Park Existing Retail AreaContinue to improve the appearance of this key gateway to the town to encourage greater movement between this area and the town centre.
  • 4 | Town Centre Residential AreaSupport further residential development which will help support the shops and services provided by the town centre. Lowestoft hospital will be developed for residential uses whilst securing conservation of heritage assets within the site.
  • 15 | Inner Harbour Port AreaProtect and support the enhancement of port related activities, particularly those which support the growing offshore renewables and engineering sectors.
  • 5 | Office and Town Centre Services AreaRetain and support the office and service function of the area.
  • 17 | Kirkley Waterfront and Sustainable Urban NeighbourhoodIt is expected that this area will deliver 1,400 new homes, community facilities, new employment premises including better public access to the waterfront. The site will benefit from a third river crossing and pedestrian/cycle crossing.
  • 6 | Retail Core and Enhanced Leisure AreaExpand and enhance the retail and leisure offer including multiplex cinema and restaurants.
 
  • 7 | PowerParkContinue to promote the creation of a cluster of businesses in the offshore renewables, engineering and oil and gas sectors.
  • 19 | Harbour Road Maritime Employment AreaProtect existing premises in employment use and support the development of new employment premises connected to maritime industries.
  • 8 | Peto Square Leisure AreaPromote growth of leisure uses such as public houses and restaurants.
  • 20 | Western End of Lake LothingCreate a more mixed-use area, including new employment and tourism uses associated with maritime activities and new residential development.
  • 10 | South Beach Tourism FocusSupport proposals which enhance the tourism offer and ensure that the seafront remains and attractive high-quality environment for residents and tourists alike.
  • 21 | Oulton Broad Shopping and Leisure AreaProtect and enhance the existing retail and leisure offer in Oulton Broad. Specific proposals include the redevelopment of Oswald's Boatyard for a residential, library and cafe development.

 

Figure 8 - Central and coastal Lowestoft allocations and designations
047 Central Lowestoft Site Allocations

048 Lake Lothing2.15 Large parts of the area around Lake Lothing are at risk from flooding. The National Planning Policy Framework states that Local Plans should use a sequential test to steer new development to areas with lowest probability of flooding. However, the Framework also states that if it is not consistent with wider sustainability objectives to do this, development can be allocated in areas at risk from flooding, providing the exception test is passed which ensures development is safe from flooding for its lifetime. It is considered that the sustainability benefits of regenerating Central Lowestoft outweigh the potential flood risk of this area. The Core Strategy (2009) and the Lake Lothing and Outer Harbour Area Action Plan (2012) applied the sequential test and exceptions test to the regeneration of Lake Lothing and justified the delivery of 1,500 homes, employment, retail and leisure development in this location. It is considered that the roll forward of these regeneration objectives into this Local Plan also meet those requirements. A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment is currently being undertaken which will provide up to date information on the risk in the area. Individual proposals on regeneration sites will need to follow the sequential approach within the site and be subject to a site-specific flood risk assessment and accompanied by a flood evacuation plan which will demonstrate the development will remain safe in the event of a flood. 

Policy WLP2.1 - Central and Coastal Lowestoft Regeneration

The Council will work with partners including Suffolk County Council, Lowestoft Town Council, Oulton Broad Parish Council, Associated British Ports, The Environment Agency, Network Rail, landowners and local businesses to deliver the objectives for Central and Coastal Lowestoft and the specific objectives identified for the main themed opportunity areas.

Proposals for development within Lowestoft and Oulton Broad should contribute to the objectives for Central and Coastal Lowestoft and the specific objectives identified for the main themed opportunity areas. Proposals for development within main themed opportunity areas should be in conformity with the objectives for that area.

Neighbourhood Plans, Area Action Plans or Supplementary Planning Documents should be prepared to add further detail to the objectives and specific proposals in this Local Plan.