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Plans could transform ‘underutilised’ land on approach to town

PUBLISHED: 10:54 11 January 2019

The entrance sign in Southwold, next to Mights Bridge. Plans have been lodged to transform land at Mights Road in Southwold. Picture: James Bass

The entrance sign in Southwold, next to Mights Bridge. Plans have been lodged to transform land at Mights Road in Southwold. Picture: James Bass

A scheme to turn “much neglected” land into a “valuable community asset” looks set to be approved.

The Millennium Foundation has submitted plans to transform “an underutilised parcel of land” at Mights Road in Southwold to include a visitor information point, community garden and public car park.

The change of use application will be discussed by Waveney District Council’s planning committee at Riverside, Lowestoft, on Tuesday, January 15.

Councillors will be told that planning officers recommend that the plans be given the green light, as “the proposed uses of the site will improve facilities that benefit both local residents and visitors to the town”.

The site – which lies alongside Mights Road, the principal route into the town – forms part of land in the ownership of the charitable trust the Millennium Foundation.

If approved, the scheme would create a visitor information point that would serve as a “gateway to the local area” transforming the land “into a valuable community asset with a wide range of resources”, according to the report to planners.

It would also create a community and educational garden, and “much needed permanent public parking to relieve pressure on the existing car parks, streets and town infrastructure”, according to the applicants.

The report to planners states that “the land has been used in recent years for the grazing of ponies, and was much neglected,” but for the past couple of years efforts have been made to “transform the site into a community asset”.

With the scheme planning “a permanent year round pay and display car park for 50 cars,” the report adds: “The visitor information point would serve as a gateway to the local area.

“The building and garden would also be used as a learning resource for local schools and other interested groups.

“The garden work would be over seen by Greener Growth, a Community Interest Company, who specialise in this kind of community asset project planning.”

With two letters of objection received citing concerns about the amount of residents’ parking spaces, the report concludes: “the proposed uses of the site will improve facilities that benefit both local residents and visitors to the town.

“The application is recommended approval.

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