Hundreds of new homes, transformation of a prominent vacant town centre building and major mixed use developments all look set to be decided upon in the coming months.

Having been empty for almost three years, a scheme to transform the vacant former Tesco Metro store in Lowestoft town centre moved a step closer to reality last month.

Eastern Daily Press: The former Tesco store on London Road North, Lowestoft.The former Tesco store on London Road North, Lowestoft. (Image: Mick Howes)

The prominent town centre store closed in September 2019, leaving a hole in London Road North's retail offer.

But after Lowestoft Town Council's planning committee approved a scheme last month to redevelop 119-125 London Road North - the former home of Tesco Metro - with 23 new apartments and a new retail unit, a recommendation was put forward to East Suffolk Council.

As planning authority, East Suffolk will have the final say at a later date, as the scheme is currently "awaiting decision" with the council.

Plans were submitted with the council by agents JMS Planning & Development Ltd on behalf of the applicants Lowestoft Developments Limited in December last year.

A planning statement from the applicants said: "It will enable a prominent vacant building within the town centre to be re-used and it will contribute to maintaining the vitality and viability of the town centre."

New kiosks

New kiosks to help increase footfall in a town's historic market area look set to be unveiled in the coming months after plans were given the green light.

A scheme to install four new kiosks at Lowestoft's market area were approved by East Suffolk Council under delegated powers last month.

The kiosks will be installed at the Triangle Market on the High Street in Lowestoft.

New stores

In recent weeks a new skate store - Skate-East - has opened on London Road North.

Eastern Daily Press: The new Skate East store on London Road North, Lowestoft.The new Skate East store on London Road North, Lowestoft. (Image: Mick Howes)

Featuring skateboard, scooter, apparel, footwear and more, the new skate store has been unveiled in the town centre building, which was formerly The Money Shop.

After closing its doors after 65 years of trading in Lowestoft town centre, the former Lowestoft Electrical shop was twice sold at auction.

In August last year, the world's most famous street artist Banksy created a mural depicting a child with a crowbar next to a sandcastle and lifted paving slab on the side of the empty building.

Two months later contractors started work to convert the empty building on the corner of London Road North and Regent Road in Lowestoft with the property owner pressing ahead with plans.

Eastern Daily Press: The Salty Crow in Lowestoft.The Salty Crow in Lowestoft. (Image: Mick Howes)

Earlier this month a new fully vegan café - The Salty Crow - opened its doors in the former Lowestoft Electrical building and it is already "booming in business."

New drive-thru restaurant

More than 120 jobs could be created with a "multi-million pound investment" in a new restaurant on vacant land.

A third McDonald's drive-through restaurant could open in Lowestoft, after the restaurant chain lodged three Illuminated Advertisement Consent applications and a "hybrid application" to East Suffolk Council in April.

The scheme for a new drive-through McDonald’s has been earmarked on vacant land south of Leisure Way, Lowestoft.

A supporting statement by agents Planware Ltd, on behalf of the applicant McDonald's Restaurants Ltd, is currently "awaiting decision" with the council.

With the "undeveloped" land opposite the town's main Tesco supermarket and close to a Travelodge Hotel, it states: "The proposal represents a multi-million-pound investment by a national operator in Lowestoft."

North of Lowestoft Garden Village

Major plans for a new community development are also expected to take significant steps forward in the coming months.

With Suffolk County Council proposing to build a "new community" on some of its land known as the North of Lowestoft Garden Village - plans could see 1,300 new homes, play areas, a new primary school, retirement community and a local shopping centre created.

An outline planning application for the landmark garden village - earmarked to be built on 71 hectares of arable land to the west of Corton - is set to be lodged "later in 2022".

With the latest consultation closing in June, it states: "The vision for the new neighbourhood to the north of Lowestoft is to deliver a locally distinctive community that is integrated with the natural and built environment, which is locally-distinctive, maintains the identity of Corton and implements key garden city principles."