Waveney Local Plan

Historic High Street and Scores

060 ScoresView the site boundary by using our interactive online map.

2.44 The historic High Street and Scores form some of the oldest parts of Lowestoft. The area is part of the North Lowestoft Conservation Area and exhibits numerous historic buildings, many of which are listed. However, the quality of the historic environment is under threat from insensitive development, poorly maintained buildings and a lack of investment.

2.45 The area sits within one of the most deprived in Lowestoft and is within the 10% most deprived in the country. The area suffers from numerous social problems including anti-social behaviour, shorter life expectancy and low levels of employment and education.

2.46 The area currently has a number of purposes. The southern end of the High Street around the Triangle Market is part of Lowestoft Town Centre and provides a secondary shopping area and a leisure focus with a number of cafes, restaurants and pubs. The area of the High Street to the north of Rant Score has more of a local shopping centre character, providing day to day provision to the surrounding residential properties. However, there are a number of unique shops and a couple of pubs and a restaurant which serve a wider population and visitors to the area.

2.47 The Scores have a more mixed residential and employment purpose.

2.48 As detailed above the objectives for this area are for heritage led-regeneration which enhances the heritage experience of this area and support the existing shops, cafes and restaurants. The Council aims for the area to have a strong heritage narrative with improved connectivity between the town centre, the High Street and the East of England Parks including Ness Point.

2.49 The southern end of the High Street around the Triangle Market is identified as part of the town centre under Policy WLP8.18. To this end proposals in this part of the High Street should be in conformity with Policy WLP8.19 relating to the vitality and viability of town centres. The Retail and Leisure Study (2016) identifies the potential to expand and enhance the Triangle Market to support this part of the town centre.

2.50 Retail and service provision in the northern part of the High Street outside of the Town Centre area defined by Policy WLP8.18 should receive some protection in order for it to continue to fulfil a role of a local shopping centre. However, due to the higher number of vacancies in this part of the High Street a more flexible approach is needed which will allow for conversion to open market residential properties to avoid vacant shop frontages further deteriorating.

2.51 To achieve a better mix of tenures in the area and to encourage investment which will help improve the appearance of the area, the Council will proactively support new open market residential development within the Historic High Street and Scores area.

2.52 Proposals for development within the area should be in accordance with Policy WLP8.37 on Conservation Areas and have regard to the North Lowestoft Conservation Area Appraisal. Historic shop fronts are a key part of the character of the Conservation Area and these should be retained and enhanced as part of development. Guidance on shop front design is found in the Built Heritage and Design Supplementary Planning Document. 

Policy WLP2.8 - Historic High Street and Scores Area

The Historic High Street and Scores Area is defined on the Policies Map.

The Historic High Street and Scores should be conserved and enhanced to complement the town centre, provide local shopping services and facilities and support local tourism and links between the town centre and the East of England Park.

Proposals to enhance and expand the Triangle Market will be supported.

New development should enhance connections and legibility between the High Street and the East of England Park and provide environmental improvements.

Changes to shop fronts should respect the historic character of the area and have regard to the guidance within the Built Heritage and Design Supplementary Planning Document.

New open market housing of exceptional design quality will be supported in the historic High Street and Scores area where it does not individually or cumulatively, have a significant adverse impact on the historic character, appearance, retail function, viability and vitality of the area. Conversion of ground floor premises in A class uses to open market housing will only be permitted where the original shop front is retained and enhanced.

Within the High Street frontage outside of the area which falls within Lowestoft Town Centre as defined by Policy WLP8.18, proposals for change of use of ground floor A1 retail premises to uses A2, A3, A4 and A5 will only be permitted when there would be, either individually or cumulatively, no significant adverse impact on the character, appearance, retail function, viability and vitality of the centre. Within this area proposals for change of use of ground floor premises from A use classes to non A class uses other than open market housing as indicated above will not be permitted.