Businessman's fresh call for public to submit magistrates' court redevelopment ideas
PUBLISHED: 17:01 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 11 June 2019
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The owner of a disused magistrates' court has reignited his call for the public to make suggestions on the building's future.
Lowestoft Magistrates' Court has been unoccupied since its closure in 2016 due to widespread cutbacks, but was purchased by Peter Colby at the tail end of 2018.
The businessman, who owns Peter Colby Commercials, has highlighted a desire to turn the court into a facility that will "create meaningful jobs" and "work with Lowestoft to try and achieve something."
Top of his own list of preferences for the site's redevelopment were a medical facility and a new base for Lowestoft's record office, but Mr Colby was keen to hear the thoughts of local people.
Two months on, Mr Colby - who also tried to buy the former Lowestoft Hospital - has once again encouraged residents to come forward and share their vision for the old court's revival.
"We've been doing a lot of work and have received a lot of ideas," he said. "I've not yet had anybody interested in turning it into a medical facility so I'm a bit disappointed on that front, but there is still time.
"A couple of people involved in the teaching profession have even come forward with the idea of turning part of it into a teaching space or a school.
"We're cleaning the court up and we are painting and decorating the place. We have got one or two people who are interested in taking on space, but it is all still available."
Despite not yet finding appropriate investors, Mr Colby insists the process will not be rushed.
The 77-year-old, who grew up in Lowestoft, says his primary concern is helping to provide a space that can be used for the benefit of the community.
"What matters is that we are still focusing on making this work for employment," he added.
"Lowestoft is in the middle of a transitional change. It's not really sure where it is and it needs a push to find itself - but it can be made to work.
"An awful lot of people are happy to put it down but I for one am ever so happy to be investing in the town."
To submit your ideas, email Peter Colby via email@example.com.