It dates back to the 1960s and dominates the Lowestoft skyline.

But Lowestoft's only high-rise tower block is facing an uncertain future.

Councillors will meet next month to discuss "whether to retain" St Peters Court in the town - with "substantial" investment needed to make necessary improvements, or to demolish the building and then redevelop the site.

Lowestoft Journal: St Peters Court in Lowestoft.St Peters Court in Lowestoft. (Image: Archant © 2017)

With the former Borough of Lowestoft constructing St Peter’s Court - a 16-storey high rise building - in 1968 as part of a commitment to develop new housing, East Suffolk Council (and the former Waveney District Council) has made significant investments in the building - including new cladding, new roof covering, windows and more over the years.

And in December 2018 work began to install a £200,000 sprinkler system  throughout St Peters Court, in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

With the high-rise tower block consisting of entirely residential flats, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet will consider a report in October about the future of St Peters Court.

A council spokesman said: "The building is undergoing an extensive improvement programme, and as part of this, a full survey of the building has been completed, which has indicated that a further programme of repair and refurbishment is required.

Lowestoft Journal: The tower block pictured in 2002 Picture: Nick ButcherThe tower block pictured in 2002 Picture: Nick Butcher (Image: Nick Butcher)

"The cost for these works is substantial, and the council will now consider whether undertaking these improvements would provide the best value for money for the council, and the building’s residents, which primarily consists of council tenants."

The report will therefore decide whether to retain St Peters Court, and make the necessary investment in improvements, or to empty and demolish the building, before redeveloping the site.

Lowestoft Journal: Cllr David Beavan, East Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for Housing. Picture: East Suffolk CouncilCllr David Beavan, East Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for Housing. Picture: East Suffolk Council (Image: East Suffolk Council)

David Beavan, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for housing, said: "The building is safe for its residents, but continued improvement and refurbishment work comes at a huge cost which may impact the long-term viability of the building.

“Ultimately, an ongoing and expensive programme of repair for an old building may not be the best approach for residents or the council.

"The required work involves improvements to the communal areas, replacement windows, replacement lifts, new external wall insulation and improvements to the roof amongst many others."

Residents views sought

Cllr David Beavan stressed that residents are the council’s priority, and their views and concerns will be listened to.

He added: "Letters have already been sent to every household explaining the situation and we want their views before asking councillors to make a decision.

"We understand that residents will have many questions, so we have arranged for three drop-in sessions, with council officers this week.

"No decision has been made, but all residents will be kept up to date including how they would be supported should a decision be taken to empty the building."

The council stressed that St Peters Court is unaffected by the issues relating to RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) which is affecting schools currently.