A scheme that could see a former primary school site transformed with new homes has come under fire.

Having been vacant for more than a decade, a new lease of life had been earmarked for the former Fen Park Primary School in Kirkley, Lowestoft.

Plans were lodged last September to redevelop the former playground of the school site in south Lowestoft with a terrace of eight houses.

Centring around "Redevelopment of existing playground and construction of a terrace of eight dwellings" at the former school site on Lovewell Road, plans were submitted to East Suffolk Council on September 22.

Lowestoft Journal: The existing elevations for the former Fen Park Primary School in Kirkley, Lowestoft. Picture: Andrew MiddletonThe existing elevations for the former Fen Park Primary School in Kirkley, Lowestoft. Picture: Andrew Middleton (Image: Andrew Middleton)

A design and access statement prepared by agents Andrew Middleton on behalf of the applicant Michael Christophi, said the proposal "looks to redevelop this site."

But it sparked concerns - with neighbours raising access, traffic, parking and road safety fears, while Lowestoft Town Council recommended refusal of the eight dwellings application at a meeting in October, citing "overdevelopment of the land" concerns.

At the time the applicants said a "future application" was pending "to convert the main building" of the former school site - and now, newly revised plans have been lodged with East Suffolk.

This revised scheme features a proposed redevelopment of the existing playground and construction of a terrace of eight houses and redevelopment of existing building to create seven self contained flats and associated car parking at the former primary school site. 

An application form from the applicants states the site area measures "0.23 hectares" with "15 residential units" and "29 new car parking spaces" proposed.

It adds "subsequent correspondence to extend the proposal and submit a revised application" has been made.

Lowestoft Journal: East Suffolk councillor Louise GoochEast Suffolk councillor Louise Gooch (Image: LOUISE GOOCH/EAST SUFFOLK LABOUR GROUP)

Lodging an objection on the online planning portal amid an "overdevelopment of the site" and concerns over the numbers of bedrooms and car parking spaces proposed, East Suffolk's ward councillor for Kirkley and Pakefield, Louise Gooch, said: "As a consequence, it is hard to imagine anything other than chaos and logjams on the neighbouring roads of Southwell, Lovewell and Beaconsfield, all of which are narrow and often double-parked."

Numerous further objections from neighbours have been submitted, with Suffolk Highways lodging a "holding objection".

Lowestoft Town Council's planning committee recommended refusal "due to overdevelopment of the site" adding that "the number of dwellings had increased since their previous recommendation of refusal in October 2023" with their concerns having "instead increased."

With the plans still "awaiting decision" with East Suffolk Council, a decision is like to be made in the coming weeks.


With the school site built in 1925, it was used until March 2013 when it was closed and has remained empty since then.

The former school site had been sold at an online property auction in March last year.

Marketed by Auction House East Anglia, with a guide price of £190,000 plus fees, it eventually sold for £346,000 - an 82.1 per cent increase on what it was expected to fetch.