Plans to regenerate Royal Plain, Royal Green, and South Quay Wharf in Lowestoft to further improve the area as a destination for local communities and visitors are set to progress this spring following planning consent given by East Suffolk Council’s Planning Committee.
Phase 1 of the Seafront Vision project will see works to the popular areas of Royal Plain, Royal Green, and South Quay Wharf begin from late February, funded through Lowestoft’s £24.9m allocation from the Government’s Towns Fund, which was awarded in 2021.
Improvements to these three key seafront areas supports the wider Towns Fund programme and complements developments at Jubilee Parade, located on the South Beach near Kirkley Cliff. Planning consent for a restaurant and café complex at Jubilee Parade also recently received planning consent.
Over the past four years, East Suffolk Council has worked with residents, visitors, businesses and key stakeholders to understand where they would like to see the Towns Fund allocation spent to help Lowestoft grow as a place to live, work, visit, and invest in. Feedback given highlighted the need for more leisure facilities for young people including gym stations, social seating, climbing facilities and a games area which would be free to access. One of the most requested improvements was the replacement of the fountains on Royal Plain, which have not been operational for several years.
The fountains will now be reintroduced, with new fountains installed which meet the required standards for interactive water play and include the latest technology. Other improvements to the public space include new benches, raised planters and additional lighting.
Cllr Toby Hammond, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Economic Development and Transport said: “Following extensive consultation with residents and businesses, we are pleased to see the Seafront Vision project progress to the next phase of delivery which will provide improvements for residents and visitors to enjoy. We are delighted to be reinstating the popular fountains at Royal Plain which have been enjoyed by many families over the years and we hope the new fountains will be enjoyed for many more.
“During the consultations for this project, we were pleased to receive so many views from young people who expressed a desire for more areas where they can meet socially and we have made sure to consider this in the designs. These improvements will provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy, and we look forward to welcoming people in time for the summer.”
Other works include improved surfacing within the East Point Pavilion courtyard garden which will improve access and provide a flexible events space, soft landscaped edges along the esplanade and the car park, new bench seating, a cycle hub, and a new Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) which was suggested by students from Pakefield High School.
South Quay Wharf, which has already seen the demolition of the suspended quay by Associated British Ports, will become a pocket park for people to enjoy the view over the harbour and bascule bridge as boats come in and out of port, with planting featuring species native to the Broads.
East Suffolk Council worked closely with local businesses and organisations throughout the design phase, including the Waveney Disability Forum. During construction, the RNLI Lifeboat Station and shop, South Pier, South Pier Entertainment Centre, Yacht Station, Jet Adventures, Harbour Inn, Iconic, East Point Pavilion, and businesses located at Pier Terrace will remain open and accessible.
An opportunity to tender for the construction of the Seafront Vision project is now open. The closing date for invitations to tender is 5 February.