A building dating back to 1900, which has been empty for more than three years, looks set to have a new lease of life after plans were given the go-ahead.

It comes after a scheme was unveiled earlier this year to turn a long serving former insurance brokers in Lowestoft into new flats, with a shop retained.

With plans submitted to East Suffolk Council in May, they centred around the change of use of the first and second floor offices to form six flats, with the retention of the shop at ground floor.

It was amended "during the course of the application" from eight flats to six flats.

The scheme lodged by agents Ian Garrett Building Design Ltd, on behalf of the applicant Tuc Properties Ltd centres around "retention of shop at ground floor level" and "change of use from offices along with extension to form six flats" at the former high street branch of Swinton Insurance on Bevan Street East in Lowestoft.

Eastern Daily Press: Bevan Street East, Lowestoft.Bevan Street East, Lowestoft. (Image: Archant)

With the building at 127-128 Bevan Street East, Lowestoft, dating back to 1900, it was previously a branch of local insurance firm Waveney Insurance Brokers before it became Swinton's Lowestoft branch.

Six people were made redundant in February 2019 after Swinton said that they were "reshaping" the branch network as the changes were part of a "long-term plan" to transform the company into "the UK's number one digital insurance broker".

A design and access statement submitted by agents said: "The proposed dwellings will have an important and positive impact, inserting life into this particular area of the town centre where retail/office space at first and second floor is hard to occupy or rent out."

Now, with the three storey building - measuring a site area of 247sq m - having been vacant since then, the scheme was approved under delegated powers last month.

A report from a delegated officer at the council said: "The proposal is considered to adhere to local and national planning policy, and as such it is recommended that planning permission be granted subject to conditions.

"The Town Council have recommended approval of the application and no objections have been received from consultees or neighbouring properties."

It recommended that "planning permission be granted" subject to conditions, and in granting approval, a decision notice letter to the agents from the council stated: "Permission is hereby granted by East Suffolk Council with the following conditions."