New life could soon be breathed into a former factory site that has been closed since 2010.

The environmental impact of potential demolition and regeneration of the redundant Jeld Wen industrial site in Lowestoft, which is in private ownership, is being explored.

Lowestoft Journal: Part of the empty former Jeld Wen timber factory site in Lowestoft, which was targeted by arsonists last September. Picture: Mick HowesPart of the empty former Jeld Wen timber factory site in Lowestoft, which was targeted by arsonists last September. Picture: Mick Howes (Image: Mick Howes)

A major scheme that could see "all existing on-site buildings" demolished and "up to 500 residential dwellings" built along with "up to 3.2 hectares of employment land as well as associated access, infrastructure and landscaping" has been earmarked for land off Waveney Drive.

It comes ahead of plans being potentially lodged later this year - as a London-based development consultancy, Pegasus Group, has submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Request for an EIA Proposed Development to East Suffolk Council.

Details about the potential proposals have been revealed in a 'scoping report' submitted to East Suffolk Council on behalf of the applicant, Statuslist Ltd - a Birmingham-based private limited company, whose business is listed as "Development of building projects".

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With the "application site" listed as the former Jeld Wen factory site - which was in operation until June 2010 - it has been vacant since then, despite forming part of an area around Lake Lothing that has been earmarked for a major transformation.

Up to 500 properties could be built on a 35.9 acre site, along with up to 7.9 acres (3.2 hectares) of employment land along with associated access, infrastructure and landscaping.

The report states: "The site is allocated for redevelopment within the adopted East Suffolk Council (Waveney Area) Local Plan (2019) as part of the wider Kirkley Waterfront & Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood, which seeks to deliver transformational change to this key brownfield site and deliver approximately 1,380 homes across the whole allocation along with employment opportunities."

Lowestoft Journal: The aftermath of the fire in April 2023 at the former factory site on Waveney Drive in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick HowesThe aftermath of the fire in April 2023 at the former factory site on Waveney Drive in Lowestoft. Picture: Mick Howes (Image: Mick Howes)

It comes after a separate scheme to transform vacant brownfield land and help pave the way for a waterfront regeneration scheme in Lowestoft, saw East Suffolk Council awarded a Government grant of £4,203,800 in October to "help cover the cost of land remediation" at the nearby former Sanyo and Survitec manufacturing sites on School Road.

With the EIA Scoping Request currently "awaiting decision" with East Suffolk Council, it said: "The proposed development will include the following elements:

"Demolition of all existing small and large rise industrial buildings;

Lowestoft Journal: Part of the empty former Jeld Wen timber factory site in Lowestoft, which has been targeted by

"Construction of up to 500 residential dwellings at a maximum of four storeys, across 11.1ha of gross residential area;

"Up to 3.2ha of employment space;

"Green infrastructure provision and site access - with the primary access provided via Colin Law Way.

Lowestoft Journal: A section of Waveney Drive in Lowestoft will be closed from Monday, September 6 until the end of July 2022.

"The applicant proposes the submission of an outline planning application which will be based on an indicative masterplan and it is noted that construction of the proposed development will take approximately seven to eight years to complete once the construction phase commences."

With the EIA Scoping Request "not a planning application," the report - featuring just over 120 pages - was submitted to the council "to assist in forming their Scoping Opinion."

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It adds: "Once issued, the Scoping Opinion will ultimately be used to inform the contents of the EIA / planning application, which will be submitted in 2024."

Site history

Steeped in history, the waterfront site was purchased for £920,000 by Boulton and Paul which opened its joinery factory and timber yard in 1962.

By the mid-1980s, it employed about 400 people.

Lowestoft Journal: An aerial view of the Boulton and Paul timber factory in Lowestoft taken in 1978.

In 1999, Jeld Wen Inc, purchased the former John Carr and Boulton and Paul companies from the Rugby Group to form Jeld-Wen UK Ltd.

Ten years later, in December 2009, the company announced it was closing the Lowestoft factory, saying it needed to make savings in its manufacturing processes in order to remain competitive.

It closed in June 2010 with the loss of more than 190 jobs as the 36-acre redundant industrial site has since been targeted by arsonists and vandals in recent years.