A former retail store that has been boarded up in a town centre for more than seven years looks set for a new lease of life.

A scheme that will see "a long-term vacant retail unit" brought "back into use" has been given the go-ahead.

The former Argos store in Lowestoft town centre is set to be turned into a 24-hour adult gaming centre - after change of use plans were approved.

It comes after a scheme centring around "Change of use of part ground floor from vacant Class E unit to Adult Gaming Centre (AGC) (Sui Generis) and external alterations to the front and rear of the unit" was proposed for part of the former Argos store at 37 London Road North that has "sat vacant since 2016".

Lowestoft Journal:

The plans submitted by Planning Potential Ltd on behalf of the applicant Merkur Slots Ltd (UK) were lodged with East Suffolk Council in December and have been "permitted" under delegated powers.

It means that Merkur Slots will be relocating from their existing unit at 54 London Road North on expiry of their existing lease - as they move around 50 metres away to the opposite side of the town centre.

A planning statement said: "The unit has been vacant since 2016, therefore the proposals would bring part of this long-standing vacant unit back into beneficial/commercial use, which will trigger a number of economic benefits."

Lowestoft Journal: The proposed shopfront for Merkur Slots at 37 London Road North, Lowestoft. Picture: Merkur SlotsThe proposed shopfront for Merkur Slots at 37 London Road North, Lowestoft. Picture: Merkur Slots (Image: Merkur Slots)

A delegated report from the council's case officer said: "The ground floor comprises of a retail unit which has been closed since 2016.

"The proposal would also create an active frontage by bringing a long-term vacant retail unit back into use and maintain footfall in the town centre."

With the town council recommending approval and no objections received, it added: "Given it is a relocation of an existing operator it would not result in the theoretical loss of retail units within the primary shopping frontage."

Recommending the scheme for approval subject to conditions, a decision notice letter from the council stated: "Permission is hereby granted by East Suffolk Council subject to compliance with conditions."