Waveney Local Plan

Kirkley Waterfront and Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood

Mixed use including residential development, employment development, primary school, playing field and local retail centre

2.26 Kirkley Waterfront and the proposed Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood comprise predominantly underutilised or underused brownfield land on the south bank of Lake Lothing between Riverside Road and Stanley Road. The site was originally allocated in the Lake Lothing and Outer Harbour Area Action Plan for 1,380 new homes and associated community uses and new employment development.

2.27 The site covers some 60 hectares. The map below shows the different parts of the site.

Figure 9 - Kirkley Waterfront and Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood site
053 Kirkley Waterfront and SUN site

2.28 Much progress has already been made towards the regeneration of this area. Outline planning permission has been granted for 1,180 new homes, together with new retail, and leisure facilities, a playing field and a primary school. In the Riverside Road area, new offices have been constructed for Essex and Suffolk Water and Waveney District Council and Suffolk County Council. However, the Jeld Wen Factory site remains underutilised and a long lease on the site means it may not be available for redevelopment until the early 2020s. As such Policy WLP2.4 continues to allocate this area for mixed use development, with the objective of achieving a comprehensive approach to the delivery of 1,380 new homes and new employment development.

2.29 The planned third vehicular crossing of Lake Lothing will traverse the eastern part of the site providing better north-south connections and further helping to stimulate regeneration in the area. A pedestrian and cycle bridge at Brooke Peninsula connecting to Normanston Park is also proposed which will further help reduce the need to travel by car. This pedestrian and cycle bridge will provide the site with access to a multi-functional open space at Normanston Park which reduces the amount of open space which is needed on the site and enhance its deliverability. The regeneration of the site is also likely to significantly benefit from the planned strategic flood defence measures for Lake Lothing.

2.30 Most of the residential development on the site should be provided in the west of the site including on the former Sanyo site, the Brooke Business Park and Jeld Wen Playing Fields, the former SCA Recycling Site, and the former Witham Paints Factory site. This area generally has less probability of flooding. This part of the site is currently accessed from School Road and Heath Road. These roads are not considered suitable for accommodating the entire amount of residential development on the site. A new access road is required through the site from Waveney Drive to service these developments. The construction of this access road will likely result in the loss of a small area of the Brooke Yachts and Jeld Wen Mosaic County Wildlife Site. Parts of the County Wildlife Site support good populations of common lizard, however, much of the site is of poorer quality and heavily overgrown limiting its habitat value for lizards. The area of County Wildlife Site likely to be lost to accommodate the access road is largely overgrown. To mitigate this impact the remaining County Wildlife Site area should be enhanced to support an increased level of biodiversity and enhanced habitat for common lizards.

2.31 Waveney has an ageing population and the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2017) identified a significant need for new sheltered and extra care housing and new care homes. This large site, which will likely be delivered by a number of developers provides an opportunity to deliver a retirement community comprising a care home and a proportion of extra care and/or sheltered dwellings. The development should be designed, utilising dementia friendly design principles (see Policy WLP8.29 on Design).

2.32 New employment development on the site should be focused along the waterfront of the former Jeld Wen Factory site. This area has a higher risk of flooding and is therefore less suitable for residential development. The waterfront is also valuable for employment development which could support the offshore wind and engineering sectors and supplement the proposals at the PowerPark. There are a small number of existing businesses operating out of Brooke Business Park. The outline planning permission for this site promotes residential development over much of the Brooke Business Park. The Council will support existing businesses to help them relocate. The Council will also support and require the continued use of the slipways at Brooke Peninsula by local people and businesses as part of the development.

2.33 The development of the area should exhibit exceptional urban design. It should score particularly well against Building for Life criteria (see Policy WLP8.29). Developers are encouraged to seek Built for Life Quality Mark for housing development on the site.

2.34 A Development Brief for the site has been adopted as a Supplementary Planning Document. The brief provides further detail to guide the development of the site and planning applications for development on the site should be in accordance with the guidance and the outline masterplan detailed in the brief. The Development Brief will be kept under review and may be amended in line with Policy WLP2.4 to take into account changing circumstances. This review could take place through a revised Supplementary Planning Document or as part of a Neighbourhood Plan. 

Policy WLP2.4 - Kirkley Waterfront and Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood

Land comprising the Kirkley Waterfront and Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood (59.76 hectares) as defined on the Policies Map is allocated for mixed use development including;

  • 1,380 new dwellings
  • Retirement community comprising a care home / nursing home and extra care and/or sheltered dwellings.
  • 1.5 form entry primary school
  • Playing field
  • Local retail centre comprising a convenience store, cafes and other local services
  • Marina facilities
  • 7.5 hectares of employment development (falling under use classes B1, B2 and B8) and port related development.

Residential development should be predominantly located to the west of the site including on the former Sanyo site, the Brooke Business Park and Jeld Wen Playing Fields, the former SCA Recycling Site, and the former Witham Paints Factory site.

The primary school, playing field and local centre should be located centrally within the residential development around the main access road.

New employment development/redevelopment (falling under use classes B1, B2 and B8) and port related development should be focused on the waterfront area of the former Jeld Wen Factory Site. Proposals involving the redevelopment or change of use of existing employment premises on Riverside Road, Lowestoft Enterprise Park, and Quayside Business Centre, falling within Use Classes B1, B2 or B8, for uses not falling within Use Classes B1, B2 or B8 will only be permitted where:

  • Marketing evidence is provided which demonstrates the premises have been marketed for a sustained period of 12 months in accordance with the requirements set out in Appendix 6; and
  • The proposed use is compatible with the surrounding employment uses in terms of car parking, access, noise, odour and other amenity concerns.

New development and redevelopment within the site should be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

  • The site should be configured around a legible street pattern which incorporates key views of the waterfront and provides good walking and cycling environments.
  • Residential development should be designed to densities of between 40 and 90 dwellings per hectare.
  • A central transport node with sheltered bus waiting facilities should be provided within the site close to the proposed primary school.
  • Development should provide active frontages along Waveney Drive.
  • Employment development should consider neighbouring residential uses and appropriate landscaping and buffers should be employed to avoid amenity issues.
  • Development should provide a continuous east-west waterfront pedestrian and cycle route across the site. Appropriate signage and wayfinding measures should be provided to help navigation between the seafront and the Broads. The waterfront path should include a multifunctional hard surfaced public space.
  • A new access road from the Jeld Wen Playing Fields is required to serve the majority of the residential development.
  • A network of children's play areas totalling 1800sqm should be provided in accessible, well-overlooked locations throughout the residential parts of the site.
  • Development should facilitate the enhancement of the Brooke Yachts and Jeld Wen Mosaic County Wildlife Site to mitigate the loss of part of the site which is needed to facilitate the construction of the access road.
  • Development should support and enhance ecological networks throughout the site.
  • Slipways on the Brooke Peninsula should be retained and made available for use by the public and businesses.
  • A Transport Assessment and Travel Plan should be submitted with any planning application.
    • Development on the site should also be in conformity with the guidance and the outline masterplan detailed in the Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood and Kirkley Waterfront Development Brief. Revisions may be made to the Development Brief through a revised Supplementary Planning Document or as part of a Neighbourhood Plan.