The South Lowestoft and Heritage Action Zone and Seafront masterplan is a town centre study that JSA has developed on behalf of East Suffolk Council as part of their £25 million Towns Fund programme. This will constitute part of a wider £250 million regeneration of Lowestoft.

East Suffolk Council

February – August 2021

Project Objectives

The project focuses on the diverse heritage of  the historic port of Lowestoft and its long connection with the herring trade as well as the Victorian seaside resort developed by Morton Peto for South Lowestoft.

The masterplan focuses on using heritage as a catalyst to promote the regeneration of the town, reinforcing its attractiveness as a tourist destination by providing new public spaces and a range of activities for new audiences. In parallel, the brief is concerned with celebrating Lowestoft’s new role as a centre for marine research and for servicing the offshore wind industry.

To complement our skills as urban designers and landscape architects, our team included Insight Lighting who recommended ways to activate urban spaces, reinforcing the unity between buildings and the spaces between them and encouraging the night-time economy. Our public art consultant Wiard Sterk developed a variety of approaches to telling the various stories of Lowestoft and proposed ways in which programmes for public art could be developed by and for the community to encourage pride in place.

The brief was underpinned by an emphasis on the need to engineer a modal shift from car use to enhanced facilities for cyclist and for pedestrians. Our transport strategy colleagues Motion assessed current patterns of connectivity and circulation, designed new pedestrian only routes, cycle ways and sustainable transport hubs, developed new proposals for parking, redesigned highway infrastructure and proposed enhanced signage.

Issues, Challenges and Outcomes

It was essential that masterplan proposals were developed with the involvement of multiple stakeholders and the local community as a whole. The project was delivered during the height of the second wave of the Covid pandemic and government guidelines dictated the development of an online only approach to engagement. We agreed a consultation matrix with the client and developed a suite of online engagement methodologies that guaranteed that discussions were as broadly-based as possible. These included a permanent interactive online gallery, one-to-one interviews, focus groups and larger workshops. In the course of delivering the project we held over 20 online events to present proposals and discuss ideas.

At the end of the project, as Covid restrictions eased, we conducted two days of face-to-face consultation with residents and stakeholders at five different locations across Lowestoft.

The completed masterplan formed part of East Suffolk’s 2022 Towns Fund submission to government.

Services

  • Promoting the regeneration of the town
  • Providing new public spaces and a range of activities
  • Enhance facilities for cyclists and pedestrians
  • Highway infrastructure and proposed enhanced signage