Waveney Local Plan

Peto Square

Mixed use including restaurants, drinking establishments and leisure uses

051 Peto Square2.20 The area around Station Square to the north of the Bascule Bridge provides a key gateway to the town with a historic townscape which benefits from a Conservation Area and a number of listed and locally listed buildings including the Customs House, the Tuttles Building and the Railway Station.

2.21 The area contains a number of secondary town centre related service, retail and catering businesses but suffers from the effects of through traffic on the A47/A12. It is expected that the effects of traffic in this location will be reduced once the planned third vehicular crossing is in place. The delivery of the third crossing is therefore essential to improving the general amenity and therefore the attractiveness of this area and the town centre as a whole to the market.

2.22 The Lake Lothing and Outer Harbour Area Action Plan proposed this area to be the focus of new retail development in the town. However, this involved longer term proposals to move the station. This now looks unlikely to be achieved and the overall need for retail development across the District is now smaller than previously forecasted. However, there is still potential for significant improvements to be made in this location and potential for new development which will support the town centre and complement the existing cluster of leisure uses in the locality. The Retail and Leisure Needs Assessment (2016) states that Peto Square has the potential to accommodate significant new retail, leisure and mixed use development over the medium to long term.

2.23 The planned strategic flood defence measures which form part of the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project will have the effect of protecting this site from flooding in the 1 in 1,000 year event. As such there may be scope over the plan period for development defined by national planning policy as 'more vulnerable' such as hotels, drinking establishments and houses to take place in this area.

2.24 Policy WLP2.3 continues to allocate the area around Station Square and the Custom House for leisure and retail uses. Providing flood risk issues are overcome the policy recognises the potential for hotel development and residential development in this area. The main objectives of the policy are to support and enhance the town centre, improve the general appearance of the area and protect the areas valuable heritage. There is uncertainty at present as to the amount of development which could be accommodated on this site and when it could be delivered. As such any development delivered on the site will be in addition to the targets set out in Policy WLP1.1.

2.25 To guide development in this sensitive location a development brief in the form of a Supplementary Planning Document or as part of a Neighbourhood Plan will be prepared.  

Policy WLP2.3 - Peto Square

Land comprising Peto Square (6.8 hectares) as defined on the Policies Map is allocated for mixed-use development including restaurants (use class A3), drinking establishments (use class A4) leisure uses (use class D2) and retail (use class A1).

Once strategic flood defence measures are in place residential and hotel development will be supported on this site as part of mixed use developments.

The Council will work with Suffolk County Council, Associated British Ports, Network Rail, the Environment Agency, landowners and local businesses to:

  • Reduce the impact of traffic on the site as part of the measures associated with the third vehicular crossing of Lake Lothing.
  • Improve the visibility and appearance of the waterfront. This should include improvements to the current fencing and ensure proposed flood walls are attractive and allow for visibility of the waterfront.
  • Improve facilities and the appearance of the railway station, including bringing vacant parts of the station back in to use.
  • Improve pedestrian and cycle links to the seafront.

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

  • The Custom House and surrounding area should be sympathetically brought back into active use. The space between the Custom House and the waterfront should be developed as a high quality public space.
  • Development should preserve and enhance the character of the Conservation Area.
  • New public realm treatments should be consistent with the existing areas of public realm at Royal Plain and Station Square.
  • Development should facilitate improved pedestrian connections through the site.
  • All new development will be subject to a site specific flood risk assessment. A flood evacuation plan and details of mitigation measures to the satisfaction of the Council's Emergency Planners must be submitted with any planning application.

A Neighbourhood Plan or Supplementary Planning Document should be prepared to provide further detail on how the site should be developed.