Site Specific Allocations

Adopted January 2011

LOW4 - Council offices, Clapham Road, Lowestoft

Allocation: Office or Mixed use (specifically B1 Offices with potential for Housing on upper storeys)


2.59 This site consists of former District Council office buildings and a car park. It is located on the busy Katwijk Way roundabout, between Alexandra Road and Gordon Road. A two-storey office building is located in the northwest part of the site, and a smaller single storey building in the south. There is a small area of grass between this southern building and Gordon Road.

Proposed Development
2.60 This is a brownfield site in a central location within Lowestoft, and has excellent access to services, facilities and the public transport network. It is situated towards the edge of Lowestoft town centre, within an area that is characterised by a high proportion of office uses, mainly in converted dwellings. There is currently a shortage of modern, purpose built office accommodation in central Lowestoft. This makes it a good site for office and commercial uses and housing, in accordance with Core Strategy policies. The site is not well connected to the main shopping streets of Lowestoft town centre, and retail use would not be considered acceptable.

LOW4 Image 1.jpg2.61 The busy town centre location means that housing would not be considered appropriate on the ground floor or as the sole use of the site, but flats on the upper storeys could form part of a mixed-use development. Assuming development of two residential storeys the development could deliver approximately 34 flats. It is expected that the site should provide 35% affordable housing. This percentage requirement was established through a site specific viability assessment [1] which took into account known abnormal costs and site specific requirements. The requirement for affordable housing will only be reduced in exceptional circumstances where it can be demonstrated that a lower percentage of affordable housing is needed to ensure the site remains financially viable when taking into account unforeseen development costs.

2.62 The Highways Agency require that site access remains off the local road network (Gordon Road/Alexandra Road) and that no additional access is proposed off Katwijk Way roundabout. A Transport Assessment will be needed to demonstrate that any traffic accessing the entrance off Gordon Road does not result in any queuing back onto the trunk road. Given the proximity of the site to the A12 trunk road, it is also important that due attention is paid to possible air and noise quality issues arising from the proximity of traffic.

2.63 The County Archaeologist has confirmed that the site is located on the edge of the post medieval urban area, and development is therefore likely to require post-consent archaeological mitigation. Therefore an archaeological condition should be attached to any planning permission.

Policy LOW4

The former Council offices, Clapham Road, Lowestoft, (0.24ha), is allocated for office or office/residential (34 dwellings) use. The site will be developed in accordance with the following site specific criteria:

• A condition relating to archaeological investigation should be attached to any planning permission.
• Housing development should be limited to the upper storeys only and should not be included on the ground floor. The ground floor should be developed for office/commercial uses.
• A mix of different sizes and tenures of housing should be provided on the site. This should include at least 35% affordable housing with the mix to be based on the findings of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment and agreed with the District Council Housing Officer. The affordable housing requirement will only be reduced in exceptional circumstances to ensure the site remains financially viable when taking into account unforeseen development costs.
• Access should continue to be off Gordon Road/Alexandra Road. In addition, a traffic assessment and noise and air quality assessments will be required.

2.64 The site will be delivered by a developer. The timescale for delivery is likely to be in the short term.