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Future of magistrates court and post office buildings secured by new owners

PUBLISHED: 15:25 04 October 2018

The former Lowestoft magistrates court building has been bought. Picture: Nick Butcher

The former Lowestoft magistrates court building has been bought. Picture: Nick Butcher

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The former magistrates court and post office buildings in Lowestoft could see a medical centre and new business opportunities for the town after their new owners were revealed.

Peter Colby of Peter Colby Commercials who has bought the magistrates court building. Picture: ANTONY KELLYPeter Colby of Peter Colby Commercials who has bought the magistrates court building. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

A deal for Lowestoft Magistrates Court has been struck between local businessman and developer Peter Colby and Homes England, a government agency which was selling the property.

The building has sat empty since being shut as one of the 86 court closures across the country in 2016.

The deal has been agreed between the two parties and is due to be formally signed off next week.

Mr Colby said his plans for the site will “be a benefit to Lowestoft”, but he would not be drawn on the detail of the plans.

The former Post Office in London Road North, Lowestoft, has been bought by Waveney District Council. Picture: Conor MatchettThe former Post Office in London Road North, Lowestoft, has been bought by Waveney District Council. Picture: Conor Matchett

He did however state the court would not be knocked down and rebuilt as houses and would instead be used as either a commercial venture or a medical centre.

Mr Colby said: “It is going to be something very beneficial to Lowestoft. This doesn’t mean knocking it down and turning it into houses.

“It is for employment use and for the benefit of Lowestoft. One option is commercial or medical but certainly not residential. I am not having a nightclub either.”

The town’s former post office on London Road North has also had its future secured with Waveney District Council (WDC) buying the building earlier this year.

The former Lowestoft magistrates court building has been bought. Picture: Nick ButcherThe former Lowestoft magistrates court building has been bought. Picture: Nick Butcher

WDC are looking to let the main premises out for retail or commercial use with potential housing above.

Closed since the post office moved into WH Smiths further up London Road North, the council have said the building was bought “with the intention of boosting regeneration in the town centre”.

A spokesman said: “The council is keen to realise the opportunity this site has to offer and bring a much-loved building back into use.

“The building is a key redevelopment site within the town centre; its occupation will increase footfall in the surrounding area and plans being considered include a combination of both commercial and much needed residential accommodation.”

Hudson Architects have been appointed to work with the council and conservation specialists to maximise the building’s potential while retaining the character of the area.

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